عنوان مقاله [English]
Iranian archaism pursues a nationalist, patriotic, and identity-oriented perspective, and celebrates the Persian language, the components of national identity, and Iranian culture. This ideology pays special attention to Iranian heroes and mythologies. Iranian archaism dates back to Fath-Ali Shah Qajar’s reign and peaked during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi. Muzaffar al-Din Shah's reign also witnessed an abundance of these tendencies, to the extent that Hossein Pasha Khan, also known as Amir Bahador, -a Qajar official who served as head of the royal guard, Muzaffar al-Din Shah's minister, and Mohammad Ali Shah's secretary of defense- commanded for an exquisite version of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh to be compiled. This version of Shahnameh eventually became one of the distinguished Qajar masterpieces reflecting archaic ideas. The book was compiled through lithography in Tehran and was titled Amir Bahadori Shahnameh after its commissioner and sponsor, Amir Bahador. Location of some versions of shahname are stored at Istanbul University, New York Library, Astan Quds Razavi, Central Library of Tehran University and National Library.
The compilation of Amir Bahadori Shahnameh started in 1902 and took four years. This edition was tangibly distinct from the previous ones: First and foremost, the book is printed in a 23.43 cm format, which is one of the largest lithographic printing formats. Secondly, it is a work unlike any other edition of Shahnameh in terms of page layout since each page is allocated to one illustration covering the whole page. Moreover, the illustrations are stylized incredibly realistically and are compiled systematically. The introduction is written by Sadegh Farahani in 20 pages and is based on Baysonghor Shahnameh’s edition. Each page is divided into six columns, with three verses or six hemistichs on each line. The book contains 50 illustrations, 13 of which were drawn by the prominent miniaturists of the period, including Mosaver al-Molk Mohammad Kazem, Hossein Ali, and Ali Khan Naghash. Emad al-Molk calligraphed this version in four volumes. Each volume concludes with a short biography of those involved in preparing the series as well as the date of calligraphy. Along with the Baysonghor and Shah Tahmasp’s Shahnameh, this version is believed to be the most exquisite.
This research tries to answer these questions: 1- What signs and symbols is archeology manifested in Amir Bahadori's Shahnameh illustrations? 2- What were the sources of inspiration for the miniaturists of this Shahnameh. For this purpose, a qualitative-quantitative analysis was conducted on data derived from 50 illustrations in Amir Bahadori Shahnameh, as well as their interpretation and comparison to their original sources. The data was collected by taking notes from the sources and observing and reviewing the illustrations.
The research was conducted through the following stages: First, the illustrations were classified into four tables. Then, the characteristics of the works of ars from the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid eras were studied to extract the artistic elements associated with these historical periods. Table 3 demonstrates how the illustrations were adapted from ancient Iranian works of art. Finally, Table 4 compares the features extracted from Table 2 and the artistic features of the lithograph version of Amir Bahadori Shahnameh. The findings are as follows:
Amir Bahadori Shahnameh is a brilliant work from various aspects, including the manifestation of patriotic and nationalist ideas through the art of illustration. Similar to other art or non-art works of the time, this book has sought to restore Iran’s past glory and has tried to revive hope among Iranians. This version of Shahnameh manifests archaism in its illustrations through various components including National and patriotic motifs, narrative ambiance, three-dimensional settings of illustrations, figurative poses, the crowns of Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid kings, Achaemenid and Sassanid reliefs, ribbons around the crown of Sassanid kings, and columns, vaults or domes similar to arches in Sassanid and Achaemenid palaces. The dynamism of the miniature characters, the narrative framework of the scenes, the three-dimensional tall Achaemenid columns and Sassanid vaults, the composition of figures, and the implementation of perspective principles are among the factors portraying the spirit of the spaces illustrated in this version of Shahnameh. The aforementioned are not only influenced by the Western artistic style, but also inspired by the creative components and elements of historical books such as Name-ye Khosrovan (the book of kings) and The works of Ajam. Name-ye Khosrovan book is a three-volume work on Iranian history, written by Jalal-al Din Mirza Qajar (about 1868-1872 AD). The book can be considered the first to showcase a nationalist approach to Iranian history which was well celebrated during the Qajar era and served as a source of inspiration for the artists of the time. This was the first Persian history work of literature to describe Iran as a coherent historical institution and included the 900 years from the fall of the Sassanids to the rise of Safavids into the history of Iran.