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Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2021, 4(14): 223-229 Back to browse issues page
Study and Identification of the Ornamental Architecture of Tabrizi Mosque in the Kashan City, and Comparison with Sepah Salar Mosque in Tehran City
Milad Baghsheikhi
Ph.D. Student in Archeology, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. , m.baghsheikhi@ut.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1755 Views)
Abstract
This research intends to investigate, describe, and analyze architectural decorations by focusing on Kashan Tabrizi Mosque during the Qajar Period. The data was collected based on field and library (documentary) studies and interpreted through a comparative descriptive-analytical method. This research has been conducted to identify and classify the main motifs and themes of the architectural decorations of the Kashan Tabrizi Mosque, including buildings that belonged to the early Qajar period, and to compare with the Sepah Salar School Mosque of the middle of the Qajar monarchy in the center of their rule. There were two main questions: What are the architectural decorations of the Tabrizi Mosque in terms of decoration and themes? and what are its differences and similarities with the Sepah Salar School Mosque? The results indicate that the Sepah Salar Mosque-School in Tehran was built by a person who had an outstanding position in terms of political and social rank; thus, it has a more decorations compared to the Kashan Tabrizi Mosque. The architectural decorations for Kashan Tabrizi Mosque include tiling, carving, inscriptions, wall paintings, and plaster-molding, following the decorations of the earlier traditional architecture. The main religious motifs employed in the mosque include plant and geometric motifs that have been accomplished in the form of painting and tiling techniques.
Keywords: Tabrizi Mosque Kashan, Sepah Salar Mosque-School Tehran, Architectural Decorations, Qajar Period.

Introduction
During the Qajar period, many mosques were built in Iranian cities, including the Tabrizi Mosque in Kashan, one of the religious buildings of the Qajar period, about which no comprehensive research has been done. Accordingly, in this study, we examine one of the religious buildings that a businessman from Kashan built during the first years of the reign of Fath Ali Shah. Meanwhile, Sepah Salar Mosque-School (Shahid Motahari) in Tehran was built in the second period of Qajar architecture (Mohammad Shah and Nasser al-Din Shah) or other words, in the middle of the Qajar dynasty (Zarei, 2017: 424). During the time that Tehran, in particular, were affected by the urban development of Paris, and Western elements (such as the Clock Tower, the Pit, etc.) can be detected in the city, and especially in the Sepah Salar School Mosque (such as Gol Farangi), while there are no signs and such elements in Kashan Tabrizi Mosque.
Research Methodology: The data was collected using the field method and library research (documentary) using written sources. This research has been conducted in the descriptive-analytical method, and subsequently, the main motifs and themes of the decorations associated with the architecture of the mentioned mosques were recognized and classified based on the attributed tables.

Introducing Kashan Tabrizi Mosque
Tabrizi Mosque is located in Bab-ul-Hawaij Street and the historical context of Kashan Bazaar/Market, near the Mian Chal Safavid Mosque-School. This mosque was built in a unique location, and one of the entrances of Kashan Bazaar/Market passes through this place and Malek bazarche, built by Haj Mohammad Hussein Tabrizi, one of the merchants from Kashan.

Analyzing and Comparing the Decorative Arrays of Kashan Tabrizi Mosque
A set of cultural developments and new sciences were formed in the West, including the invention and presentation of photography, and the extensive application of stamps in postal items. These developments affected the decorations of the mosques of the Qajar Period so that the natural scenes of architecture, flower and vase designs, particularly roses and lilies in the designs and decorations of tiles and carvings have been applied in these buildings (Sajjadzadeh et al., 2017: 227). The inscriptions were as important as in the previous period, and mainly the chirography of Qajar inscriptions is in two types: Thuluth and Nastaliq, Quranic inscriptions and narrations have been written in the Thuluth and narrative phrases or history and poems have been written in the Nastaliq (Husseini and Ahmadzadeh, 2017: 72). The decorative motifs of the Tabrizi Mosque can be generally divided into two classes: plant motifs, geometric motifs, and the type of inscription scripts, and each one has different components.
1. Plant motifs include: a) Arabesque traceries/motifs b) Khatai flowers (Lotus motif with buds and leaves) c) Flower and plant motifs; 2. Geometric motifs include: a) embroidery b) rhombus motifs c) star-shaped motifs d) Mogharnas /decorated with paintings; 3. the type of inscription scripts including a) Thuluth b) Nastaliq c) Naskh.
A) Tile decorations: Tile decorations have been performed in the Kashan Tabrizi Mosque in the form of seven-color and mosaic techniques. Motifs are geometric and plant, but tiles have been extensively used in the form of seven-color, Bannai, and mosaic techniques, along with the various natural, geometric, animal, religious, and western themes in Sepah Salar School - Mosque. But, except for plant and geometric themes, no other motifs have been used in the Tabrizi mosque.
B) Carving decorations: The carving in Tabrizi Mosque is in the form of spiral columns, the base of the vase around the crescent of the altar of the nave, and the cypress motif on the side dado of the entrance of the mosque. Foreign decorations in the form of flower and vase designs have been performed naturally in the carving of Sepah Salar Mosque-School.
C) Inscription decorations: The inscriptions applied in Tabrizi mosque include the Thuluth, Naskh, and Nastaliq scripts, which the Thuluth has been used for writing in the inscriptions of the porch and the altar of the mosque, the Naskh has been used for writing the four-pillar inscriptions of the nave column, and the Nastaliq has been used for short phrases on the walls of the nave and on the inscription on the seven-colored tile at the entrance of the mosque, and all of their themes are Quran verses, hadiths, and divine names. The Nastaliq scripts of Tabrizi Mosque are simple and frequently have no decorations and have been performed in rectangular frames. The inscriptions have more variety and themes in Sepah Salar Mosque-School and include verses of the Holy Quran, hadiths, divine names, founders, calligraphers, tilers, architects, sculptors along with the materials of history, which have been used Naskh, Kufi, Thuluth, and Nastaliq scripts for writing.
D) Plaster-molding decorations: The plaster-molding / Stucco of Tabrizi Mosque has been used to construct the decorative moqarnas in front of the mosque altar entrance and the construction and writing of inscriptions on the entrance and porch of the mosque. Stucco /plaster has been used in abundance in decorating and writing inscriptions and plant motifs, including stucco flowers and vases in Sepah Salar Mosque-School.

Conclusion
Architects have always considered the most important mosque as the most important religious building of a city and a religious, political, and social focus. Examining the architectural arrays related to the architecture of Tabrizi Mosque and comparing them with the arrays of Sepah Salar School Mosque in Tehran as the Qajar capital, as well as analyzing their structural and decorative features, indicate a combination of Iranian and Western elements. There are many rooms built around the courtyard for summer, but the winter naves here are not comparable to the Sepah Salar School Mosque in Tehran, which was built for high-ranking government officials in the form of four porches, tall domes, and minarets, and is so glorious. This small mosque is built as a summer and winter nave on two floors. Kashan Tabrizi Mosque includes tile decorations, inlays, inscriptions, murals, and plastering to write inscriptions in terms of decorations and follows the art and decorations related to the traditional architecture of the previous periods as this mosque was built in the early period Qajar in 1212 AH and many natural themes can be seen in its decorative elements, as it can be considered the only building in which there are weak influences of Western culture. Tehran Sepah Salar School-Mosque was built in 1296 AH and its decorations and decorative motifs originated from traditional and western architecture. In such a way that western elements such as architectural landscaping have been used as a house or church, in contrast to which there were no western elements in the Tabrizi Mosque of Kashan.
Keywords: Tabrizi Mosque Kashan, Sepah Salar Mosque-School Tehran, Architectural Decorations, Qajar Period.
Full-Text [PDF 2348 kb]   (284 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2019/09/23 | Accepted: 2020/02/2 | Published: 2021/02/27
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Baghsheikhi M. Study and Identification of the Ornamental Architecture of Tabrizi Mosque in the Kashan City, and Comparison with Sepah Salar Mosque in Tehran City. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2021; 4 (14) :223-229
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