Drawings are the most readily accessible means to the artist’s working process. With an economy and immediacy unparalleled in any other art form, they express the artist’s mind, intent, and skill. A drawing as defined here is a work of art that uses line as the primary means of graphic expression. Although they may be enhanced by touches of color or color washes, they are no longer drawings, in our view of Persian art, if the function of the line is usurped by the addition of pigments. The distinction between drawing and painting may be illustrated by a late-nineteenth-century Qajar painting in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection, The Queen of Sheba Enthroned (figure 1). Although very close in some respects to a pure line drawing, this painting depends, for its overall effect, on the use of colors in defining the space and isolating the figures from the background.
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