عنوان مقاله [English]
One of the most important and fundamental secrets of the universe is death; explained in different ideas and worldviews in various forms and methods. On one hand, the representation of this theme, in the form of art media, is taken from the same ideas and worldviews explaining it; on the other hand, it is derived from its worth as well as its stylistic and media limitations. Literature, in the field of Persian miniature in a relatively long historical context, has also had a great effect on forming different themes. The narrative literature in Iran had always been one of the most prominent sources of inspiration to manifest artists of the other media; among which visual and performing arts have more contributions. The Iranian miniature had depended on the literature to a great extent. So, by the middle of the Safavid era, the Iranian miniature was categorized as a subset of the “calligraphy” art which its major function had been the visualization of literary narratives.
Reviewing miniature works of the Herat and the Second Tabriz Schools showed that nearly one hundred and fifty images refer directly and indirectly to the theme of death – their notable examples are seen in the Shahnamehs of Baysonghor and Shah Tahmasp. The main problem in this research, regarding the theme of death in Iranian images, is responding to the question of how one can get to one knowledge about the representation of this theme in the images. The ultimate aim of the research is to gain the full and profound knowledge about the features of forms, themes, and contents of the Iranian miniature; the most superior form of art in this land. Its functional purpose is to study semiologically the images with the theme of death in two illustrated Shahnamehs of Baysonghor and Shah Tahmasp. Based on the patterns of layered semiology, the research aim is achieved through analyzing the linguistic, visual, and cognitive semiotics. The research will respond to the following questions:
How linguistic and visual symbols, related to the theme of death, are matched with each other in the studied images?
Can anyone reach one knowledge about the representation of the theme of death in the studied works?
Iranian paintings have been studied by many methods and models. Some researchers have tried to provide an aesthetic and formal reading of the painting, while others have re-examined the overt or covert meaning of these works, and in these studies, some have considered themselves bound to align with new study methods and patterns. Researchers, on the other hand, have not bound themselves to any cognitive pattern and have left their minds, hearts, and senses free for intuitive cognition. The researches of the first group are formulated and minimalist studies that have not been able to fully identify and discover some of the basic features of these works. On the other hand, the results and interpretations of the research of the second group cannot be repeated and proven. Therefore, it is necessary to find a solution or model that can eliminate the listed shortcomings in the field of painting research. “Layered semiotics” is a theoretical and efficient approach that provides the basis for extensive analysis of texts in the context of the interactive relationship between sign systems and textual layers that creates a complex network of semantic relationships. “Layered semiotics” is an approach in the process of which the researcher or the audience, by entering from the outer layer of the work to the semantic layers, goes through the outer meaning to its inner meaning. The result of this journey is neither minimalist nor unprovable, and the choice of this method and pattern in the study and selection of selected works of Iranian painting, reveals the importance of this research. This descriptive-analytic study has a poststructural semiology approach. The data collecting uses the library and documentary method. Furthermore, the Delphi method has been used to analyze the research qualitatively – experts in miniature and semiology have done it in the form of an open and exploratory interview. The samples studied in this study have been purposefully selected, which include two images with a common narrative and related to the theme of death. It should be emphasized that the criterion for selecting these two paintings was their common theme which is portrayal of the narration of "Siyâvash's death". The linguistic and visual features and the type of adaptation of the signs are different from each other in the studied images. But, the results suggest that the common knowledge of the two images should be considered in the study of the cognitive layer of images. It seems that though the works have been pictured in two separate periods with different stylistic knowledge and skills, both of the artists had been successful in the tragic, yet the eternal and mythical representation of death.