Volume 5, Issue 4 (Winter 2018 2018)                   2018, 5(4): 35-54 | Back to browse issues page

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Rouzbahani R, Fahimi-Far A F. The Readings of Timurid Art Based on the Ideas of Suhrawardi - A Study on Geometrical Motifs of Goharshad Mosque . Iran University of Science & Technology. 2018; 5 (4) :35-54
URL: http://jria.iust.ac.ir/article-1-864-en.html
PhD Student Tarbiat Modares University
Abstract:   (91 Views)
A work of art is the souvenir of the artist's journey through the immaterial world of realities and intuition. The language of this art is a language of secrets. This enables the artist to establish a link between the innermost and outermost essence of existence. Decorative motifs are the intersection of art and mystical thought. Many Islamic concepts are mixed with geometry and because of this structural similarity in patterns of evolution, play an important role. In decorative architecture, every motif has a value beyond its formal value derived from culture as it represents the beliefs and ambitions of the people continued from generation to generation. On the one hand, architectural ornaments focus the viewer’s mind on the formal beauty of motifs and the function of spaces, the walls of which hold the motifs, and, on the other hand, the ornaments drew the viewer’ eyes to the realm of cultural and religious secrets hidden in the meanings of the motifs. One is able to understand the minds and thoughts of architects and thus the culture, worldviews, and ambitions of the people by understanding the symbolic meanings of the motifs and tracing their origins in decorative architecture. In Islamic art, geometric motifs are so important that it is necessary to find the key to discover the connections and patterns in such motifs.
In Islamic philosophy and mysticism, light is considered as manifestation of divine harmony with a pivotal position. For this reasons, the Iranian Muslim scholars have paid special attention to light. Suhrawardi was a leading Muslim philosopher and scholar during the 12th century and the founder of illuminationism, also known as Shaykh al-Ishraq (Master of Illumination). In illuminationism as a discussing-tasting philosophy, light plays a central role. Illuminationism was a great revolution in Persian-Islamic philosophy as compared to the conventional philosophies, which were merely discussing, existence-based in nature. His idea that light operates at all levels and hierarchies of reality, which developed from his Philosophy of Illumination, and a major teaching of the School of Ibn Arabi, i.e. the Five Divine Presences referring to the five domains in which the God exercises its influence in a global fashion, both established a subtle mystical-discursive worldview in the Muslim world that has significantly influenced the arts and become a source and reference for many artistic and mystical illuminations with its solid mystical and aesthetic foundations.
Light has been used as a symbol in various forms in Persian-Islamic arts, and Muslim artists have widely utilized the symbol, especially in the period when illuminationist thoughts began to spread in Persian culture during the Timurid and Safavid periods. The Timurid Empire (1370-1507) was an Islamic empire. Shahrukh, the son and successor of Timur (Reign, 1405–1447), trusted sharia, tariqa, and Sufi scholars, and he was highly devoted to Sufism in particular. Many historians have mentioned this in the historical books focusing on the Timurid and Safavid periods. There has always existed a close relationship between mystics, Sufis, and artists.
The Persian-Islamic architecture, especially ornamented architecture, carries high spiritual and mystical values as a means of expression for epistemological meaning and definitions. Philosophical and mystical concepts such as light and the world of immaterial lights were widely and highly regarded by Shaykh al-Ishraq  and other Islamic scholars. The present study thus aimed to present a proper explanation of the phenomenon of light in the Philosophy of Illumination from the perspective of Suhrawardi as the founder of the ontology of this phenomenon. The explanation is provided to analyze what has manifested based on such views in the decorative elements of Persian architecture as geometric motifs on tile work of the Timurid period with an aesthetic and symbolistic approach to indicate that the existing motifs in the tile work is a sign of the philosophical and mystical concepts, in particular those of Shaykh al-Ishraq . Such an approach is also adopted to prove that the motifs are manifestations of the world of immaterial lights that Suhrawardi proved with rational and theoretical explanations according to that he then described other phenomena. The present study is based on the assumption that the origins and bases of the Timurid motifs lie in its geometry with circular and radial patterns, which have its roots in mysticism. Reviewing geometry designs of the Timurid period shows abundant use of a particular type of grid device which is based on a network of radial coordinate, lead to the emergence of specific geometric shapes including motifs of Shamse and stars. This study seeks to answer the basic questions which are why the Timorese system designers considered the radial system preferred and use it as a completely new resource for the various forms used. Can preference and use these designs be appropriate with mystical thoughts common among artists of this period, and that the radial motifs can be analyzed by votes Suhrawardi.
In this research, the research method is descriptive-historical and analyzing qualitative information and data collection is based on documents method.
The results of this research show that the selection and applying of geometric shapes with radial infrastructure in decorating and patterns of the Timurid are not random and such other components of the Islamic era of art is particularly important in principles. Designing and selecting of these designs can be explained by the concepts of light which is the core of philosophy of illumination and of the most important concepts in Islamic mysticism, as the expression of truth and light and divine manifestations attributed. Symbolic addressing of light and its central position in the pillar and foundation of these motifs can be seen very well. It creates diverse compositions, published and nurturer which begins with unity, moves by manifestation and again returns to unity and that the light attributes and its always presence is in these motifs. Skillful combination of geometric designs with arabesque designs also deserves attention and Corresponds with the interpretation of Suhrawardi from the Noor verse. The motifs and patterns found in Persian architectural works of art were generally built on strong intellectual foundations. Such elements have been the result of an architectural evolution over time and have not emerged out of nothing all at once. Although the history of the motifs with radial patterns began long before the Timurid period, such features were certainly common in architectural works and buildings dating from that period when the mystical views of Shaykh al-Ishraq prevailed in Iran.
Full-Text [PDF 5256 kb]   (33 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Subject- oriented researches in Islamic architecture and urbanism, eg. Spatial-geometrical ideas, symbols and ornaments
Received: 2018/03/17 | Accepted: 2018/03/17 | Published: 2018/03/17

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