عنوان مقاله [English]
Throughout the history, the development of carpet designs, especially rug patterns, have been influenced by political, social, and cultural factors. These variables have played a decisive role in the aesthetic and the transformation of Persian city-woven rugs. Thus, dealing with techniques and materials, artists had to be faced simultaneously with their patrons’ ideologies and aesthetic agreements.
Early Islamic documents show an enthusiasm of Arab governments to revive the glory of their precedent empires. Umayyad Caliphs imitated Byzantines, and Abbasids adopted the Persian Sassanid culture by the means of their arts and crafts. The latter proved to be dominant in Islamic territories, accepting and strengthening the presence of the eastern Turkic tribes in martial and administrative affairs.
The climax of the Turkic presence in Persia occurred under Seljuk rule, during which the decorative elements became more flexible and Turkic taste merged with pre-Islamic Iranian aesthetics, making changes in ‘Islamic arts’, including carpet designs. The clues from the 4th to the 9th centuries AH (11th to 16th AD) show an interrupt in the way the Sassanid and early Islamic carpets were patterned. The replaced style shared the patterns and designs (and probably the structure) with Anatolian manner of weave, on the basis of comparison between pieces discovered at the beginning of the 20th century by J. H. Loytved-Hardegg and F. R. Martin in Konya and the rugs depicted in Persian miniature paintings from the 8th and the 9th centuries AH (15th and 16thAD).
Islamic beliefs have ultimately been fixed and new tools and materials, brought by coming Turkic tribes, played major roles, but chiefly the change of patronage led to the transition. The Turkic peace style, maintaining the common style of the steppes, homeland to Turk ancestors, lasted throughout the Mongol Ilkhanid and Timurid Dynasties, therefore called Turkic-Mongolian style. This common style has simple basis in patterns, including rectilinear and semi-rectilinear repeats with limited diversity in basic forms: endless knots, multi-pointed stars, crosses, geometric shapes such as octagons, hexagons and pentagons, hooked lozenges and Kufic-like script, used chiefly in rugs’ margins.
Prevalent from Central Asia to Anatolia, the Turkic-Mongolian style appears to be dominant in Persia till the 9th century AH. However, there is no preserved Persian rug remained from the beginning of the Islamic era to the rise of the Safavid Dynasty (7th -16th centuries AD) to be used to identify the long period's patterns and designs. Hence, available sources representing rug designs are miniatures and written texts as histories and travelogues which are always under discussion. In former researches, more focus has been placed on motifs and patterns and less on the transition of designs. This paper is to investigate the process of changing the structure (form) of Persian rug designs from the second half of the 9th century to the early part of the 10th century AH (16th and 17th AD). The significance of this period is that from this date, Persian rug designs separate little by little from the Turkish-Mongol rectilinear repeats, turning into half and quarter designs with intricate curvilinear patterns. So the main questions of this article are: 1. how did the most important changes happen in Persian rug designs from the middle of the 9th to the beginning of the 10th century AH? 2. Who played the main roles in the Persian rug designs' developments from the middle of the 9th century to the beginning of the 10th century AH?
This is a documentary research and its method is descriptive and analytical. The statistical population is the miniatures painted in Iran between 849 and 920 AH (circa 1447- 1518 AD) in which samples of Persian rugs have been depicted, historical texts (history books and travelogues) have also been used as references. The method of analysis is qualitative.
Sometimes in the classification of carpet designs, historical variables and the gradual process of transformation have not been taken into account. This is more evident in pre-Safavid carpets from which no actual example is in hand. The events of this nearly 70-year period (beginning with the death of Shah Rukh in 1447) ultimately founded the royal style of the Safavid rug workshops. Despite its vital importance, the mentioned period has not been studied thoroughly yet.
The research results indicate that during this period of time, Persian rug designing was released from Turkish-Mongol rectilinear repeating patterns, and, the design structure was changed into half and quarter forms. The changes started in Herat, and then spread to Shiraz and Tabriz. Based on the available evidences, great masters, Kamal al-Din Behzad and Farhad, played major roles in this restyle.