عنوان مقاله [English]
Social researchers believe that since the production, distribution, and consumption of works of art occur by humans in the social contexts, they cannot be immune to the impacts of social variables; you can see the latent and visible traces of social transformations in cultural and artistic works. The expansion of representation inspired by Western Art standards in carpet design is one of the components of Qajar-period carpets. Incorporation of illustration in Iranian carpets rose as a major trend in the Qajar period and peaked in the Pahlavi era. The expansion of relations with the West and the arrival of European paintings and portraits, the prevalence of photography and lithography are among the factors influencing the manifestation and representation of individuals' images in Iranian carpets. Along with various groups of social and political elites, the manifestation of women in carpets under the inspiration of Western standards was an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of carpet weaving in Iran. Due to Iran's encounter with the Western world, the Qajar court's desire to taste the modern world, and the Western world's desire to recognize the Eastern world, a duality between traditions and modernity emerged in many social, cultural, and artistic relations. This trend significantly influenced women's cultural status and presence in society. The emergence of images of women in various attires and forms in the Qajar period also signified a revolution in women's traditional role in the religion-centered society of Iran. The present study mainly deals with the unfamiliar quantitative and qualitative aspects of women's images in the Qajar-era carpets. This paper aims to stress the significance of studying carpets as an aspect of handicrafts reflecting the Qajar society in Iran and to explore these carpets qualitatively and quantitatively in the geography of Iranian carpets. The following are the main research questions in this paper: What areas in the Qajar era were involved in weaving carpets manifesting images of women? In what styles and how were women and their identity represented in the carpets of the Qajar period? The study collected eleven samples of women's images in the Qajar era. Next, the samples were studied descriptively and analytically in terms of method, using library sources, following the study of objectives. The results indicated that the emergence of women's images in Qajar-era carpets resulted from widespread social transformations in the period. The presence of ambassadors' wives and Western merchants in Iran and religious tolerance towards their outfits, the evolution of photography and the normalization of capturing the picture of women, the expansion of the printing industry, and easy access to women's images promoted the presence of the images of women from different social classes, including Iranian and foreign women, in different contexts of daily life, and formed the basis for the adaptation of carpet weaver artists. Furthermore, artisans in Kerman, southeastern Iran, weaved most of the carpets manifesting images of women in the Qajar period. In the last decades of the Qajar period, Kerman received many Western companies active in carpet production, and business managers and representatives of Western companies and their families. The carpet designers in Kerman designed and wove carpets, directly following Western employers' preferable styles and fashions, thus making Kerman the most notable area with the highest tendency towards designing and coloring Persian carpets of the Qajar era in compliance with Western styles. The images of women woven in carpets fall into Iranian and foreign women based on the element of identity. The representations of foreign women were recreations of a well-established and prevalent image in Western society captured and woven from other art forms, such as lithography, photography, postcards, and Western paintings. These women had real identities; they were princes, dancers, aristocrats, and religious figures. These women's posture suggests that they are in front of a photographer; waiting to capture the moment. The European paintings have a circular frame; the figure is full-face, while looking out of the frame, wearing European hairstyles and outfits, and holding flower twigs. Not fully covering garments, luxurious and diverse dresses, women's activism, and feminine gestures and behaviors are noticeable characteristics of foreign women's images in Qajar-period pictorial carpets. Unlike the images of Western women, which were depicted realistically, capturing scenes from everyday life, representations of Iranian women in carpets are completely imaginative, distant, and without reference to any actual figure. They are inspired by rich Persian folkloric legends and tales; women are often depicted with long gowns and veils, in some cases with hijabs covering their heads. Furthermore, women appear with dark middle part hairstyles, and big black eyes, symbolizing the Qajar-period Iranian women in the observer's eyes.