Examination of Shia Themes in the Pictures of the Lithographically-Printed Book Toufan-ol-Boka
The emergence of Shia themes in the artworks of Iran had taken place even before the Shia branch was declared as the formal religion of the country. The representation of the Shia themes in artworks in Iran, however, reached its summit in Safavaid era and continued until Qajar era. Nonetheless, after the printing industry was introduced in Iran, new windows were opened to the Iranian artists. Many books with religious themes were lithographically printed in Qajar era. One of these books is an illustrated book named Toufan-ol-Boka addressing the afflictions of the Ahl al-Bayt. Since the book was welcomed by the people, it was then illustrated as well. The present study aimed to examine the illustrations of a selected copy of the mentioned book in terms of the Shia themes. The methodology of the research is descriptive-analytic and the data were gathered based on the library sources. The main question of this study is to what extent the illustrations represented in the religious books of Qajar era were under the influence the of Shia themes and how such themes were represented in Toufan-ol-Boka. The results indicated that most of the books printed lithographically in Qajar era included the books containing Shia themes. In addition, in such illustrations, the representation of the figures of Imams has been traditionally avoided and, instead, the religious symbols have been depicted. The implied message in such artworks is readily recognizable for the Shia addresses. It is, however, rather difficult to appreciate those western experts of art who are not familiar with the foundation of Shia thought.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
19 - 33
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