The Influence of Sassanid Art on Animal Motifs of Kells Book
The Sassanid motifs penetrated the European culture due to trading along Mediterranean Sea, crusade and Muslim Arab domination on Christian lands and many motifs of fabrics, utensils and moldings transferred to Christianity. The Christians changed these motifs to religious concepts regarding their own religious beliefs and illustrated their religious books with them. The Christian art of book illustration has a very close relationship with Byzantine art. The Byzantine art was a result of Sassanid and Roman cultural and artistic achievements. Writing the New Testament and presenting religious concepts motivated the abbes to design manuscripts with abstract symbols and adornments. The style drawing animals and imaginative beasts along with composition methods in silk fabrics and Sassanid silver works not only created aesthetic signs but also resulted in abstract expression which also penetrated the Christianity. Present paper is based on the fact that the Sassanid art was the most glorious historical era before Islamic, when political and social influence lead to globalization of art of such era and its imaginative concepts led to a semantic relationship with Christian art. The book of Kells is a middle age's illustrated manuscript, trimmed by abbes and includes exemplum of gospel and revelation of John. This manuscript includes images of hybrid beast, winged creatures and imaginary birds which demonstrates the effect of Sassanid art in design of its images and motifs. The present paper aims to study the pictorial and conceptual context of animal motifs in Kells book and also consider the Sassanid art influences. This is a descriptive analytical study and the data was collected based on library resources. The question is that: what were the characteristics of Sassanid motifs and how did they effect book illustration of Christian religious manuscripts. With declaration of the reason for such effect, it is also clarified and explained how the Sassanid motifs made their way to the western world.
Journal of Jelve-y Honar, No. 44, 2018
87 - 96
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