عنوان مقاله [English]
The art of illumination and ornamentation of Qur’an manuscripts is evidently influenced by Manichean book art. According to the results of the latest studies, the first time that the ornaments, images and generally beauty of books mattered in history of Iran (and probably history of the world) was in Manichean religious texts, thus naturally the influences of this innovative technique lasted in subsequent eras. Following the advent of Islam in Iran (7th century AD), many of these acquirements were utilized for its art of adorning books, especially for writing the holy Qur’an. The manner of proving and representing the mentioned influences is the main core of the current article. Usually, finding roots and origins is an interesting and, at the same time, difficult issue, which includes seeking and finding the roots of different ideas or arts. One of the most critical challenges in this research and other studies in ancient subjects is that because of the antiquity of the time and the topic, it is almost impossible to provide any theory with certainty; although much effort has been made to base the content on valid documents and certain assumptions. Some of the images in the article are taken by the author and some of them are received from available sources. It was intended to provide a detailed view of the process of influence of Manichean art book on handwritten Qur’ans in the early centuries of Islam while categorizing the impresses. Current study can lead researchers to more extensive investigations in similar fields.
The art of the Muslim artists had been mainly focused on calligraphy and inscriptions. One of the reasons which can explain the popularity of calligraphy as well as illumination is the restrictions that would not allow some of the other types of art. The ornamentations and illuminations in the Islamic-era manuscripts, including the holy Qur’an, had been very basic during the first centuries, but gradually developed into more complex and varied shapes and motifs. On the whole, this development may be categorized in two general epochs of the earlier basic works and the later more complicated ones. The focus in this paper is bestowed upon the earlier more basic Qur’ans. The characteristics of the book art are different in each era: it is uncomplicated and more basic in the 4th century, consistent in the 5th and 6th centuries, profound and splendid in the 8th century, and detailed and luxurious in the 9th and 10th centuries.
However the art which was employed by Manicheans in the mid-3rd century AD, to adorn their religious books, was taken by Muslim artists about four centuries later. Even some researchers believe that following the decimation of Manichean communities, a considerable number of their artists had been appointed by Muslim rulers to produce and create artworks in their own styles at their workshops. Continuation of the Manichean art is thus evident in the Ghaznavid and Seljuk eras, as well as in the art of the Mughals, until its peak and zenith in the Ilkhanid era. The artistic style of the Ilkhanid-era miniatures is clearly reminiscent of the detailed quality and characteristics of the Manichean art. This kind of art, turned into one of the most important Islamic arts, or in other words, the most significant Islamic art, for reasons mentioned in the article.
The main purpose of the given topics, images and analysis is to find out: 1. if the Manichean book art had a recognizable effect on Islamic art book, and 2. if so, how can we describe and classify different types of these effects of the Manichean book art on the Islamic book art? At the end we try to explain the mentioned influences that can be divided into several principal categories.
In this paper, after introducing a brief, but important background for the discussed beliefs and arts, we represent the central subject and conclusion.
To gain a deeper understanding of works of art (especially the religious ones) it is essential to know the beliefs behind them, so it is recommended for interested readers to study about the thoughts and philosophies of the two mentioned religions of Manichaeism and Islam. As examples of the discussed influences (of Manichean book art on book art of Qur’ans in early centuries of Islam) we can point out the following elements: using the blue background, gilding books, favoring oblong letters in writing the texts, adorning headings, and utilizing punctuations or very little decorations in lines. By studying the above mentioned elements in detail, it is possible to comprehend these influences.
This study can be an introduction to later investigations on impressions of religious arts on each other in different lands and eras.