عنوان مقاله [English]
One of the exquisite illustrated manuscripts available in Persian language in Iran is the number 708 manuscript available at the library of Shahid Motahari University (formerly Sepahsalar) in Tehran, which is a Persian translation of the book of Hiyal by Badi’ al-Zaman al-Jazari. In this book, of which at least 21 manuscripts have been identified and 3 of them are available in Iran, 50 automated machines have been presented along with illustrations. Therefore, it serves as a very important document in the history of science, technology and art of Islamic civilization. However, no research has been conducted on the artistic aspects of manuscript number 708, translated by Mohammad bin Dawood Alavi Shadiabadi.
Consequently, this research, for the first time, the respective illustration is studied and analyzed to discover its artistic features and remove the dust of negligence from this valuable edition. The main question to be replied here is what are the characteristics of the illustrations of the manuscript No. 708? Other questions are raised during this study include how the does the illustrations of number 708 edition differs from the al-Jazari’s original book? And what are the specific features of this manuscript?
Employing descriptive-analytic method of research, the study at hand has been conducted through desk study of library resources. All the illustrations and paintings of this manuscript comprise the study population of this research. After conducting a general study, an improbable, 10 illustrations of this book have been selected and reviewed for the statistical sample. The most important features of the illustrations in this manuscript include avoiding the use of human and animal images, decorating large colored surfaces with elegant plant and geometric motifs, preventing the creation of colorful backgrounds in the images, not using a separate frame for illustration, avoiding perspective, using few, flat and pure colors, predominance of warm colors in the ambience of images, employing black and sometimes red lines around the forms, applying simple and symmetrical or balanced compositions, and paying attention to details.
The examination of the illustrations of this manuscript also revealed that from among 135 illustrations, 36 images portray the main forms of devices, 27 ones deal with mechanisms and 72 pictures illustrate components and parts. In addition, as compared al-Jazari’s original book, there is a lack of 7 texts, 14 main forms, 9 mechanisms and 26 components, resulting in possible lack of some images and texts during the course of this study.