At once one may point out a special feature of the Iranian aesthetic taste in all periods of history, which is, on the whole, the predominance of decoration over representation. This is especially true, in my opinion, of Achaemenid and Sasanian art while Parthian and the early Islamic art of Iran are both perhaps better described as expressionist rather than merely decorative. By this is meant that the underlying idea of spirit is paramount in the art rather than appearance or what is seen. As is well known, the Persians have been ever the artists of the Near East, and world music, painting and architecture all have been enriched by Persian contributions.