A Comparative Analysis of the Architectural Decorationss of Zanjan’s Soltanieh Dome with a Selection of the Miniatures in the Great Ilkhanid Shahnameh (Demotte) of Ilkhanid Period
Message:
Abstract:
Beauty is a divine blessing which is reflected in all aspects of the Iranian life and has affected all parts of their lives. Every applied object is also beautiful and has ever held such charm. This aesthetic aspect of the Iranian art is expressed in the form of decorations and elements of the Iranian art. No boundary can be defined in the application of the decorations and their artistic aspects. This mutual interaction can be seen in architectural decorations and illustrations of certain books, such as Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, so that in each period, the Iranian miniatures have been used to depict decorations used in other arts and the magnificence of the buildings has been reflected in the paintings and the miniatures. Built between 1304 to 1312 AD by the decree of Oljaitu, the Soltanieh Dome is one of the architectural masterpieces of the Ilkhanid period and it has various decorations. Demotte Shahnameh is one of the oldest pictorial versions of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, which is believed, by most researchers of the Iranian art, to date back to the years between 1331 to 1337 AD. Therefore, given that the magnificent monument of Soltanieh Dome and the pictorial version of Demotte Shahnameh were created in a close time span during the Ilkhanid period, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impacts of the architectural motifs of Soltanieh Dome on architectural decorations depicted in the illustrations and motifs of Demotte Shahnameh and thus to provide a comparative study of the two. The key question is: How has Soltanieh's dome architectural decoration influenced the architectural motifs of the Shahnameh paintings and miniatures? In order to answer this question, the architectural decorations of Soltanieh dome and the miniatures and paintings of the Demotte Shahnameh have been analyzed in terms of decoration style, motifs and the applied location. In order to conduct a comparative case study of the two artworks, written sources, library documents and a valid virtual database have been used to gather the required data for the theoretical section of the study while data for the field study section have been acquired through observation. Decided by the nature of the data gathered, they will be first analyzed qualitatively to be followed by comparison. The results of the comparison of the samples demonstrate that the architectural decorations used in Soltanieh dome of Zanjan are very diverse and extensive. In terms of the method of application, it includes different types of brickwork, tiling, and plaster while in terms of motifs, it contains a variety of geometric motifs, circles (Khatai and Arabesque) and inscriptions. In the selected paintings of Demotte Shahnameh, architectural decorations are strongly depicted in the composition of the paintings. On the other hand, the exterior and interior views of the buildings have various decorations comprising of various styles of brickwork, tile and plaster as well as plaster painting along with geometric, Khatai, arabesque and inscription motifs. Therefore, the research findings reveals that the architectural decorations depicted in the Demotte Shahnameh are comparable to the architectural motifs of Soltanieh dome in terms of decoration technique, motifs and application whereabouts and different types of brickwork, plaster and tiles containing geometrical, circular and inscription motif used in different parts of Soltanieh Dome have also been illustrated in Demotte Shahnameh. This illustrates the close relationship between the art of architecture and Persian miniature. Based on the outcomes of this and other research studies conducted in this respect, the surviving paintings of each period can be considered as a realistic reflection of the architecture of that period, which can be referred to in the study of architecture and decorative practices of that period on one hand. On the other hand, it shows a cultural continuity in different aspects of Iranian art during the past centuries and some sort of harmony in the application of ancient patterns in different fields of art; Something that has been ignored in the contemporary Iranian art. Returning to this cultural policy can solve the problem of cultural rift in the contemporary Iranian society.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Language:
Persian
Published:
Journal of Theoretical principles of Visual Arts, Volume:5 Issue: 1, 2020
Pages:
156 - 168
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