عنوان مقاله [English]
Kamal al-din Bihzad is one of the most important Iranian painters. He has learnt painting from Mirak-e- Naghash. When he was young he was supported by Mīr Alisher Navaiy and Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara. Later Jami joined them and they all became part of Nakhshbandi doctrine. Nakhshbandi follows the traditional Islamic approach and keeps the rules of the Sharia away from the heresy of the foundation of this tradition. Bihzad usually depicts religious themes as well as old stories. The Islamic mysticism is also a theme that Bihzad was interested in. Islamic mysticism has an undeniable impact on Iranian Painting. Artists have been exposed to the idea of mysticism through mystical literature. The mystics have spoken of their internal experiences in the language of signs and symbols. This language is transformed and distributed to the arts and specifically to Iranian painting. Interpretation of his master work «Alexander and the Hermit» can illustrate how Bihzad transferred the literary language in visual one. This painting is adapted from Eskandar-nama by Nizami Ganjavi; an adventure tale about Eskandar, known generically as the Alexander romance. Eskandar-nāma exists in many versions in Persian, popular and courtly, and in prose and poetry. The most important question in this study is how mystical themes turn into visual language in this specific artwork. Bihzad, following earlier works, tried to use signs and symbols.
The aim of the study is to identify and introduce all signs in «Alexander and the Hermit» in order to interpret it. Semiotics is suggested to discover this process. The process of carrying meaning depends on the use of signs. In an artwork there are many layers of meanings, and semiotics is known for detection of hidden relations in a structure which conveys a concept. Semiotics is the examination of the sign. This knowledge is the result of the linguistic and rational research undertaken independently by Ferdinand de Saussure in Switzerland and Charles Sanders Pierce in the United States at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. In comparison with Saussure's semiotics, Pierce's semantics, as one of the most complex semiotic theories, is more compatible with the history of art. The topics on which he wrote have an immense range, from mathematics and the physical sciences at one extreme, to economics, psychology, and other social sciences at the other extreme. Anything is a sign, not absolutely as itself, but instead in some relation or other. Peirce came to classify signs as Symbolic, Indexical and Iconic signs. A Symbol has no resemblance between the signifier and the signified. The connection between them must be culturally learned. An Indexical sign shows evidence of what’s being represented. A good example is using an image of smoke to indicate fire. An Iconic sign has a physical resemblance to the signified, the thing being represented. A photograph is a good example as it certainly resembles whatever it depicts.
In this survey, some essential concepts are introduced. These concepts are theoretical points to give a deep perspective toward the subject, and next, the artwork is analyzed to specify the signs and symbols considering Bihzads' approaches to mysticism. The mystical experience is a changed state of consciousness that it seems impossible to convey to others through the language; this transmission is represented in the language of the image and in the framework of the sign and symbol of Bihzad. Considering the familiarity of Bihzad with the teachings of mysticism and Sufism and the association with Abdul Rahman Jami, Mīr Alisher Navaiy and Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara, the references to the strains of Sufism in his works have been identified. The artist narrates his image with elements that each may provide a space for interpretation. These strains include colors, styles, worldviews, similarities, differentials, mystical and religious symbols, special artist styles, etc. which indicate existence of a hidden world for painter.
This research is based on descriptive and analytical method using library sources. The sample of this study is «Alexander and the Hermit». The analysis of this image regarding Bihzad’s mystical approach has been done by Pierce’s semiosis. His sign classification is used as a method for analyzing the painting; after specifying all the elements and features of which, the authors have classified them into three groups of Symbolic, Indexical and Iconic signs. In order to achieve this, authors illustrated a linear design personally, without using common software. It was first transferred to parchment and after photographing, it was transferred onto the blank sheet of paper. The outcomes of this study suggest that since the mysticism is based on intuition and taste, transmitting these hidden truths requires a peculiar language. Bihzad's Mystical aesthetics turns into his visual aesthetics by symbol and sign.