عنوان مقاله [English]
Iranian culture and civilization, despite the ethnic and racial diversity of the inhabitants of this land, the political developments and the invasion of the invaders and settlers, have always been regarded as an appropriate context for the advancement of Iranian art. Iranians have been involved in decorative arts as well as painting since ancient times, one of which being exquisite tile art.
Decorating tiles in Islamic buildings as valuable treasures reflects the cultural ideas and religious beliefs of the artists of all times, and their taste and ability in this art have endured. Tile art, which gradually progressed from pre-Islamic centuries, reaches its peak of development and perfection in the Seljuk and Timurid times. Tile, which is the most beautiful and unique decorative element of architecture in the interior and exterior of buildings, not only creates the most spectacular color scenes and motifs in Iranian buildings, especially in religious sites, but it also is a factor in the strength and cover for the building. The finest examples of tile history of Iran, the inner and outer surfaces of the sacred doorstep of Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (AS), are in front of our eyes through the many ups and downs of this land, making this valuable art endure, rather than be dissolved and forgotten.
Geometric motifs have been used in pre-historic times in Iranian artworks, examples of which include pottery left from the civilizations of the hills of Sialk, Shush, Tal Bacon, and more. In the Islamic era, geometric motifs, especially knots, have been used in a variety of visual and decorative arts such as architecture and tiling of religious and non-religious buildings. The numerous and varied geometrical motifs (knots) seen in Iranian tile art and influencing the architectural ornamentation of other Islamic countries have generally been derived from a combination of a number of basic shapes, and by observing the constant rules of repetitive drawing have also been expanding throughout eras. These motifs, in addition to providing the viewer with visual pleasure, imply higher meanings within themselves that must be interpreted in order to be understood. From the Islamic point of view, these motifs and the way of their creation are symbolic ways of expressing the monotheism, which is the supernatural doctrine of divine unity as the origin and resurrection of all creatures. Through his sacred artistic spirit, the Muslim artist has achieved a two-dimensional reality in his artistic creations by departing from the three-dimensional elements of the creation world. In a concise way, this artist portrayed Islamic geometric art based on qualitative roles, based on mathematics and geometry, bringing together geometric shapes to achieve an element such as knot, which is in fact a mysterious knot of existence and polished the soul to prepare it to receive the truth.
The holy shrine of Imam Ali-ibn-Musa al-Reza (AS) is a magnificent collection of the best tile art examples from different periods, which reached its peak of progress and perfection in the Seljuk and Timurid periods. Moreover, the geometric patterns of these tiles, with spiritually elevated meanings, embody a return to the world of monotheism by displaying unity in plurality and plurality in unity. This is why the best examples of tile art have appeared in these two periods. The present research aims to answer the following questions: Which geometric patterns have been used more often in the tiles of Imam Reza (AS)’s Shrine during the Seljuk and Timurid periods? What changes have occurred in the structures, colors, compositions and foundations of the patterns? And what similarities and differences exist among the geometric patterns of the tiles?
This study has used a descriptive-comparative method and a historical analysis to show the developments in the Shrine’s tiles. The required data have been collected using a combination of library oriented and observational methods as well as tools such as books, articles, notes, tables, computer, and by referring to the tiles of the Imam Reza (AS)’s Shrine as well as their images. The geometric patterns were analyzed based on their foundations, compositions and colors, and the findings indicated similarities between the two periods in terms of the foundations and structures of the patterns and showed that most of the patterns are based on the geometric shape of the eight-pointed star. The tiles are quite similar in color, especially in the primary colors, but the compositions of the patterns (strap work) have no similarity, although all of them have the same shape. Although there were many tile samples from the Timurid period, only one from the Seljuk period, the geometric shape of the eight-pointed star, can be considered a meaningful common code in both periods.