A Comparative Study between the Dramatic Arrangements in two Paintings by Mir Mosaver and Sultan Mohammad on the Battle of Rakhsh and the Lion
In addition to utilizing some ancient and aesthetic traditions, the imaginative world of the genuine Iranian painting possesses a rich background of literary works, fables, mythology and wisdom stories. Various samples which have been described in the historical manuscripts belonging to various eras, such as Mani’s Arjang, different versions of Shahnama, Khamseh-y-Nezami, and the poetry books of other poets like Hafiz and Sadi are the existing proofs to this matter. The aforementioned traditions were each of a different quality during their time. Among these qualities, which are especially observed in the Safavid Tabriz School, are the creating of a dramatic atmosphere inspired by internal emotions of the artist who was himself inspired by the text of such books. Of the great examples of such features are the paintings in the magnificent book of Shahnama of Shah Tahmasb and another valuable picture copy of this masterpiece in that period which was created during the 10th century in the workshop of Safavid’s royal library. Perhaps, one of the most attractive, the most imaginative and most enlightening scenes of Shahnama is the seven-stage story of Rostam on his way to the Alborz Mountain which symbolically represents various stages of life. On the other hand, the development of visual arts and painting in Iran after the Islam has been made possible in Safavid Tabriz school on the basis of the valuable achievements of the Shiraz, Herat and Turkmen’s painting schools. From among the famous masterpieces of this period some Shahnama versions can be noted that were generally ordered by the kings and were drawn in the royal workshops of the Safavid courts. In addition to the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasb, another version of Shahnama also was developed, which, for some reasons, remained unfinished. However, the paintings which were left, possess the unique characteristics of Turkmen, Safavid and Tabriz schools’ painting. Among these illustrations is the one attributed to Sultan Mohammad called “The Battle of Rakhsh and the Lion ", which is related to the first stage of seven quests of Rostam’s story. Because of rich and fantastic use of color, and romantic and naturalistic portrayal of the scenes and depicting Rostam in his sleep and Rakhsh’s fight with the lion and also the dynamic composition and atmosphere, this painting is of overriding significance. On the other hand, there is another painting by Mir Mosaver, a well-known Tabriz School’s artist, which has some similarities with the above mentioned painting and also differs from it in some aspects.
The present study aims at investigating the usage of these dramatic elements to relate an extraordinary story of text in the form of visual arts and the drama contained in such works. Two paintings, with similar topics, (the Battle of Rakhsh and the Lion) by two well-known artists i.e. Mir Mosaver and Battle of Rakhsh and the Lion have been carefully studied and the amount of stylistic background usage by the two artists and their styles to narrate the story have been evaluated.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Fine Arts, No. 72, 2018
53 - 62
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