عنوان مقاله [English]
From ancient times, up to the present, hunting attracted the attention of kings. Some mythological books attribute it to the Pishdadian dynasty (about 6700 years ago). Hunting and hunting ground have been of great importance in the Iranian tradition;to the extent that characters such as the Sasanian Anoushiravan, Bahram Gur, Rostam, Afrasiyab, Alexander, KhosrowParviz are famous for their skill in hunting, which adds to the grandeur as well as royal and agonistic power of these characters. In addition, even specialized books on the topic of breeding birds of prey were written under the title «Bāznāmeh (Falconry book)». For example, the oldest of these ancient books are the Bahram ibn Shahpur,s Bāznāmeh, Jamasb,s Bāznāmeh, Noushirawani,s Bāznāmeh and the king of pars Parviz,s Bāznāmeh.
After Islam reached Iran, while the Arabs were skilled hunters themselves, they learned how to use raptors for hunting from Iranians. Thus, in the Islamic era in Iran, hunting had a significant boom and «kings and caliphs reminded of the Sassanian golden age» were interested in hunting by means of falcons and hawks and spent much time for hunting. There are also images related to hunting and raptors in artworks, particularly in painting and manuscripts. Among these, Tahmasebi Shahnameh is one of the costly works of Iranian Safavid Persian painting, with images of hunting and hunting ground and pictures of birds of prey. The purpose and goal of this study is to analyze the images of raptors in TahmasebiShahnameh and to examine the relationship between the images and the original text. Based on this, the research seeks to answer the following questions: 1. How is the pictorial structure and aesthetics of the birds of prey in images of Tahmasebi Shahnameh? 2.Which birds appear as birds of prey in the images of Tahmasebi Shahnameh? 3. What is the connection between the images of the raptors and the text of Shahnameh? The recent study is carried out in a descriptive-analytical manner, and its data and information is gathered from library sources and observing the works. The referenced version of Tahmasebi Shahnameh, which has been compiled and published by the Iranian Academy of the Arts, includes 174 images from the 258 works of the original version. Also, to complete the statistical population of the present study, the collection of the Metropolitan Museum’s paintings has been studied.
The results of the study indicate that in this Shahnameh, there are 22 images of raptors. Of these, and based on Amid and Mo,in dictionaries, 17 images depict birds in the hands of a falconer and in all the images falconer wears gloves. Only in pictures (7-1) and (13-1) there is no portrayal of a falconer, and the bird is represented next to the king. This companionship of birds and kings somehow refers to the important position of the birds of prey to the kings. In the picture (14-1), the image of the bird of prey is drawn up in the upper left side of the Kay Qobád throne which seems to emphasize the king,s glory and majesty of kingdom. In the sample (2-15) two birds are depicted in a dedicated cage, though their species is not very recognizable. Also, in images (2-2) and (11-2) birds of prey are shown with a hood block. This point, as well as the image of the falconer,s gloves, refers to the artist,s adherence to the actual painting of the type and goal of breeding birds. Regarding the typology of the birds of prey, it can be said that there are 17 depictions of birdsin 15 images with a curved-down beak, a body and feathers of gray and white chest that suggest the sparrow hawk species. In addition to the above-mentioned image, the image (13-1) represents a type of sparrow hawk, but the body color of this example is darker than other images. Also, the images (1-3) and (15-1) both depict feathers, and white and smoky bodies similar to the features of Shahbaz bird. The last case has a brown body and darker feathers which are observed in hawks and falcons as well as sparrow hawks, thus it may not be identified with certainty. It should be pointed out that in terms of typology of the birds of prey; the illustrator artist adheres to the reality of his time. In general, the images of the Tahmasebi Shahnameh are valid historical documents that express the cultural and social characteristics and reality of hunting of the Safavid kings. In the case of the association of images with the lyric text in the images, it can be noted that out of 15 images only 2 images explicitly addressed the subject of hunting. The purpose of other images is not to portray the subject of hunting. The depiction of hunting and birds of prey suggests the ceremonial customs and courtly ceremonies of that time.