عنوان مقاله [English]
In the ancient culture of Iran, attention bestowed on the stars and planets, has a rich history. The ancient inhabitants of Iran were fascinated by astronomy. The Iranians are one of the first nations to interrelate between celestial symbols and spiritual aspects. They, much like their neighboring civilizations (Sumer and Babylon) imagined the stars as creatures they encountered and dealt with on earth such as birds, animals, women, men and fish. So they would fictionalize them and tell tales about them, a quality that may well be observed in mythological culture of Iran. Following the conquest of Iran by the Muslims, they became familiar with the astronomical tradition of Iran. Its influence mostly occurred through the presence of the Iranian scientists at courts as well as the translation of astronomical books and manuscripts into Arabic. The science of Iranian astronomy and mathematics in Islamic periods are, without doubt, a collection of treasures that have significantly contributed to enhancing world knowledge. It was during the tenth to twelfth century AD that science reached its highest point in Iran. During the Buyid period, many astrological accomplishments were achieved including the valuable book by Abdul Rahman Sufi Razi (903-986 AD) with the title of “Sovar-al Kavakeb”. The prevalence of astronomy during the tenth to the thirteenth centuries AD had a high influence on various social, political, economic and artistic fields of Iran in which many of the artworks entailed astronomical decorative elements. Such cosmological and astronomical concepts highly influenced the artworks of various stages of Islamic art history; an influence which is particularly evident during the eleventh to the thirteenth century AD. This indicates the impact of such concepts on social aspects and simultaneously on the political and economic fundamentals of the governments. Artworks are a reflection of scientific, social and folklore actions; hence, artists, being a part of the society, acknowledged the significance of astronomy and the universe, and applied such astronomical symbols in the form of decorative features in their artworks, particularly in the realm of tilework. Luster tileworks are the decorative manifestation of the use of astronomical symbols. Many of such tileworks are preserved in museums worldwide. The luster-glazed tileworks of the Imamzadeh Jafar’s tomb represent such peace, benevolence and valuable features. What occurs to the mind of the spectator at first sight is the unrelated relationship between animal motifs and romantic poetic verses on the tileworks of a holy site
Since in Iranian-Islamic art the application of animal motifs is not common in holy buildings and places of worship, the current research strives to acknowledge and study the symbolism, reflected in the decorative tilework of the Imamzadeh Jafar of the city of Damghan. Hence, parts of the tileworks of this monument that are preserved at the Louvre museum are studied and interrelated with the book illustrations of “Sovar-al Kavakeb” by Abdul Rahman Sufi Razi in order to emphasize its astronomical concepts and features.
The unrelated relationship between animal motifs and romantic poetic verses, represented on the tilework of a holy place is the first comprehension of the audience at first glance. Hence, the author seeks to answer the following questions: What is the connection between the motifs of the tiles, the poems and the function of the building? What are the relations between the luster-glazed tileworks of Imamzadeh Jafar with astronomical beliefs and concepts? And, how are these decorative patterns related to the illustrations of the Sovar-al Kavakeb book? In order to answer the mentioned questions, the luster-glazed tilework of Imamzadeh Jafar, which is preserved at the Louvre museum, is studied and compared to the illustrations of the Sovar-al Kavakeb book, which is initiated and completed throughout various historical periods. A descriptive and analytic methodology is followed throughout this study and data is gathered using library research method.
The results of the research emphasize on the hypothesis that the romantic poems, represented on the margins of the luster glazed tilework of Imamzadeh Jafar show no direct relation with the depicted motifs and the function of the building. Furthermore, the depicted plant, animal and human motifs do not merely have decorative aspect, but display symbolic concepts related to the astronomy, as well as evident influences from the illustrations of the Sovar-al Kavakeb.