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Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2020, 3(10): 127-148 Back to browse issues page
Form, Expression, and Meaning in Persian Miniature Based on the Religious and Mystical Views of Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Hossein Behroozipour *
M. A. in Art Research, Department of Art Research, Institute of Art and Architecture, Sistan and Baluchestan University, Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran , hossienbehroozi@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (1746 Views)
Abstract
Pure religious and mystical thoughts in the minds of Muslim artists have led to the emergence of a common spirit in all Islamic artworks. Understanding the nature and purpose of Islamic art in the last century has attracted the attention of many scholars and researchers and their studies have led to various theories about the philosophy and wisdom of transcendent Islamic art. Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, including intellectuals who use a traditional approach based on religious and mystical views to explain what, why and how Islamic art - architecture, applied arts and visual arts. The question is: Islamic miniature of Iran based on traditionalist thinkers such as Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr on what features are similar to other Islamic Arts? In this study, the visual and content characteristics of the Islamic miniature of Iran are explained based on the religious and mystical views of Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr and the degree of similarity of Iranian miniature in form, expression, and meaning with other Islamic arts has been studied. Accordingly, after collecting some of Titus Burckhardt’s and Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s theories on Islamic art and examining several Islamic era miniatures through surveying and documenting, the data obtained have been drafted in a descriptive and comparative method. Finally, data analysis was performed using inductive reasoning. Based on the findings of the research, elements such as form, color, specialization, non-representation and use of writing (in the form of poetry) have given Iranian miniature, like other forms of Iranian art and architecture, special meaning. On the other hand, the form, expression, and meaning of Islamic miniature in Iran are in line with the mystical and religious views of Titus Burkhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, and these views are not only true about non-religious and court images. 
Keywords: Islamic Art, Burckhardt, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Iranian miniature, Religious and Mystical Views.

Introduction
Pure religious and mystical thoughts in the minds of Muslim artists have led to the emergence of a common spirit in all Islamic artworks. Like most Islamic arts, Iranian miniature has been subject to the temporal and spatial requirements of each era and has passed developments. Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hussein Nasr are among the scholars whose in-depth studies of nature, why and how of Islamic art have led to theories of Islamic art. In their works, they have described the characteristics of Islamic arts in a mystical and religious approach, and in the meantime, they have sometimes explained them in the visual arts, sometimes in the applied arts and sometimes in architecture.
Research Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to first study and understand the characteristics of Islamic art from traditionalist thinkers (Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr), secondly to compare and analyze the features mentioned in Iranian miniature with other Islamic arts. And third, recognition of the consistency of miniature Iran in form, expression, and meaning to other Islamic arts.
Question: The question is: Islamic miniature of Iran based on traditionalist thinkers such as Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr on what features are similar to other Islamic Arts?
Research Methods: The research method is descriptive-analytic and research data (images and miniature and taking notes) to the style library (documents) collected. Data obtained by descriptive statistics and comparisons have been drafted. Finally, data analysis using inductive reasoning in terms of the miniature of painting, as an extension of the total is made. On this basis, a number of the miniature have been studied and analyzed and the result has been generalized to the whole miniature in Iran.

Identified Traces 
in this article, important points are explained in a separate heading, including Tradition and Traditionalism, the Relationship of Islamic Art with Pre-Islamic Art in Iran,  Burckhardt and Nasr’s View of the Nature of Islamic Art, the Human Position in Islamic Art and Iranian Painting, Paint in Islamic Art and Islamic Painting in Iran, Poetry in Islamic Art and Iranian Painting, Balance between form, Expression, and meaning in Islamic Art and Iranian Painting, Spaceship in Islamic Art and Iranian Painting, Lack of Views on Islamic Painting in Iran. For example: In Burckhardt’s view, the characteristic of Islamic art is to be consistent with the spirit of Islam, and this compatibility is at least evident in its core manifestations, such as the architecture of sacred places. Burkhardt states: “Islamic art itself is the concept that comes from its name, without ambiguity” (Burkhardt, 1986: 16).
Nasr also argues that the Islamic view of Islamic mysticism is “art for human” and since man is the caliph of God on earth and a central being at this level, it means that “art is for God” (Nasr, 2013: 291). According to Burckhardt: “Colors are the richness of the story’s inner illumination. Because they are confronted, they are blinding and in harmony with the harmony of the colors that we find in the true nature of the spectacle itself (“ Burkhardt, 1986: 88). According to Nasr: Every color has its allegory. As some mystics and poets have directly pointed out, such as the military sage, and every color has a connotation with one’s inner being and his soul, and its use in various aspects of life has a profound effect on the morale of the people (Nasr, 2004: 5).

Conclusion
According to traditionalist scholars such as Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, elements such as form, color, specialization, and use of writing (in poetry form) have played an important role in Iranian art. Iranian miniature based on the mystical and religious beliefs of Islam does not merely portray the outward appearance of nature and, by combining tangible and intangible forms, goes beyond material nature.
Colors have also helped to instill Islamic mystical and religious notions in their symbolic and semantic functions in Iranian miniature. Literature, poetry, and written works in the nomadic culture have also had a prominent place, as the word of the revelation of the Qur’an was a written miracle in the Muslim community. Literature, poetry, and written works in Islamic culture have also had an important place, as the word of the Qur’an’s revelation was a written miracle in the Muslim community. The importance of writing culture was that painting was at the service of verses, literary poetry.
Thus, the form or form, color, spatiality and enjoyment of the text as illustrated by the views of Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr in the Iranian-Islamic miniatures also have more or less similar features. It should be emphasized that the above features are common to Islamic miniatures and Islamic art, and this cannot be generalized to non-religious and courtesy examples.
Keywords: Islamic Art, Burckhardt, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Iranian miniature, Religious and Mystical Views.
Full-Text [PDF 1486 kb]   (506 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Interdisciplinary
Received: 2019/09/23 | Accepted: 2019/12/19 | Published: 2020/03/6
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Behroozipour H. Form, Expression, and Meaning in Persian Miniature Based on the Religious and Mystical Views of Titus Burckhardt and Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2020; 3 (10) :127-148
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