عنوان مقاله [English]
Chaleshtor lozenge carpet is one of the cultural artworks representing a platform for different kinds of artistic motifs of different theoretical principals due to its multifaceted characteristics. Some of these motifs, because of their presence in other carpets and artworks, are well-known, but some have not been in focused adequately. One of the least known motifs in Chaleshtor lozenge carpet is Dast-Delbar figure. The present study by using the Panofsky iconology method tries to describe the meanings of this figure and to answer the question: “what are the verbal and narrative meanings and the subsequent concepts behind this motif? “. This method by identifying the smallest visual units and exploiting the cultural discourses of the artworks, aims to find the inherent and basic meanings of the artworks which are sometimes hidden (even to the artist) and unconsciously formed by the artist.
This method studies the artwork in three levels. First, the contents of the artwork will be discussed in two primary and secondary steps, then the inherent meanings of the artwork are tried to be discovered. this approach is important because three major elements of precepting an artwork, the text, the artist and the viewer are studied together.
In this method, the first step focuses on primary meanings and formal aspects of artworks (the text). In the next step, secondary meanings are discovered thorough the worlds of pictures, stories and Allegories in connection with the first meanings. So, the elements relating to the texture and the artist will be indicated. Finally, the third level is accomplished by paying attention to world of symbolic meanings which reflect the effect of viewer perception in realizing an artwork. Now according to the quality of Panofsky iconology method, it is obvious why this method has been chosen to study the Dast-Delbar motif.
Panofsky iconology method has three levels as follows:
l Pre- Iconography description: in this level, which is composed of two phases itself, we should focus on meanings based on the reality and the expression. Achieving to these meanings, as Panofsky says, depends on distinguishing the pure forms. In this level by concentrating on the composition, colors, motifs and relationships, we can understand the real meanings. Also, based on the quality of expression (sadness, peace and etc.) the expressive meanings could be understood.
l Iconography analysis: in this level, according to Panofsky, we have to search for a relationship between the motifs and the meanings and concepts. Finding these meanings is possible by referring to the world of pictures and stories.
l Iconology: as Panofsky says, this level is directly related to the fundamental factors that make the beliefs of a nation, a class, a period, a philosophic school or a religious way, and is described by a person or is hidden in an artwork.
The required data for this research is gathered by observing pictures, components analysis and library researches. Human figure in Dast-Delbar lozenge, is the hand of a woman. This hand carries a bunch of flowers and holds it in such a way that seems to be presented to the viewer. Subject of this image is holding the flower and presenting it. Also this flower could have hidden meanings. In iconographic analysis, at first, Dast-Delbar motif is a reminder of stone carvings on Takht-e-Jamshid pallas, Shapour motif in Darab and etc.. Similarities between these motifs are accompaniment of the flowers and the hand. With a glance on the stone carvings, we realize that the act of the person whom holds flower, is to keep it and not to gran it, which could be seen on Khashayar-Shah and Dariush stone carvings. The other attractive point is that the person holding the flower is a king or a holy man.
Some later documents that present this motif with some differences, are metallic dishes related to the Sasani period. In these figures, the goddess Anahita with a flower in her hand has been illustrated. The first and most creditable text is a book called “Bandhash” in which in a part about the flowers and gods, introduces water-lily as the Anahita’s flower. The word Niloofar in Persian is equal to Nillopal and Niloopar. Niloopar or Nilpar in persian is made of two parts of Nil and Par, which means water leaf. This word is originated from a Sanskirit word ,Nilootepala. Analyzing this word part by part, we came to two meaning for it:
The first meaning is coming out and smiling through the dark waters which in Persian has been transformed to Niloopar or Nilpar. Second is a spiritual thing who comes out of dark waters and is similar to Far and Fareh in Niloofar. With a flower in Anahita’s hand, the second meaning could be more correspondent, because in Avesta, some kings sacrifice for Anahita to achieve the victory or Far. Among these kings, Hooshang, Fereidun, Kavoos and Keikhosro could be mentioned.
The flower in Dast-Delbar motif is a symbol of receiving to and keeping the Far. Since no king or god were illustrated in this carpet, it can be said that the hand in this motif has no special owner and is a hand of mankind in the general meaning. The artist who creates this motif may be unaware of Anahita story but with attention to the ancient role of the birth, life and love (beloved, wife), draws a woman whom presents the life and luck to the viewer with the flowers.
Analyzing of the case studies, Dast-Delbar, reads to a conclusion that the smallest visual characteristics in this motif is coming from a mysterious cultural complex which created this artwork and is connected to other meanings, resulting a fundamental and larger meaning. It is also known that according to lack of knowledge of weaver about the philosophic principals behind the artwork, these meanings have been entered into the artwork unconsciously. This fact informs us about an expressive progress connected to an eternal source of meaning and the weaver is just a part of it.
In this research, since the motif itself is not narrating anything visually, it was necessary to use pictures which have the same meanings alongside a narration. There were some samples in old Iranian painting costumes accordingly. This research based the analysis on some of the oldest of them. To be closer to sources or in other words to be more untouched, this research chose some old narrative samples. Analyzing present samples of this motif and coming back to their stories, directed to the conclusion that the flowers in this motif is an image of life tree and the hand which holds it, is the hand of goddess Anahita whom granted life to mankind.
More discovering of the motif uncovered that the existence of this motif in carpet is a symbol of blessing, righteous and fortune in the life of viewer. Also about consciousness or unconsciousness of performing this motif, it seems that since the power of life and generation is a downward subject for mankind, designer or weaver of Chaleshtor lozenge carpet was not aware of the stories about Anahita and Zartosht but he/she did this motif unconsciously and based on his/her internal willings.
-Panofsky, E. (1955). Meaning in the Visual Arts, Doubleday Anchor Books. NewYork: Garden City.
URL1: http://users.stlcc.edu/mfuller/HermitageSassanid.html(Access Date: 22/5/2021).
URL2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_art#/media/File:Anahita_Vessel,_300-500_AD,_Sasanian,_Iran,_silver_and_gilt_-_Cleveland_Museum_of_Art_-_DSC08129.JPG (Access Date: 14/3/2021).
URL3: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/325865(Access Date: 4/2/2021).
URL4: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/325865(Access Date: 4/5/2021).