Time turns into 2021, and the sky in Tehran is grayish as usual. The artificial haze formed by industry and exhaust gas shrouded the blue sky that had not been seen for a long time, and even lost the color of the iconic Elbrus Snow Mountain.
Iran has never shown people in this way. Those traditional bazaars that were once bustling are now available in Tokyo. There are only a few welcoming shops left, and the guests are fully armed, coming and going in a hurry.
The silk-woven worship carpets in the window are gradually becoming dusty, the miniature exhibition at the foot of Thad Abad Palace is permanently closed, and even the dazzling mirror palace in the shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad is open and closed. . In the prosperous Persia in the past, after 2020-2021, when the new crown virus is raging, the pause button was pressed.
However, art will not be buried by time. The masters of Persian art hide in the complex of buildings that can be seen everywhere in the streets of the city.
There are complicated Persian architecture
People who have been to Iran are all shocked by the magnificent palace ruins, the exquisite grand mosque, the unique tombs of celebrities, and the grounded characteristic residential houses.
Many people know Iran from a photo of a pink mosque that has swept the Internet.
Bunches of light passed through the colorful glass windows, passed through the main hall of the mosque, and turned into soft light with pink as the main color, leaving colorful spots on the carpet embroidered with exquisite patterns. Arranged neatly in the main hall are the 12 oblique serpentine pillars symbolizing the Shiite 12 imams. Colorful light and black shadows continue to blend and collide, like a never-ending hide-and-seek in the distant time.
No one would have thought that this ordinary mosque in Shiraz, an ancient city in southern Iran, was built in 1876 and has been repaired for a full 12 years. Under the catalysis of the “value economy”, it has become a representative of Persian civilization. Internet celebrity building. This mosque was originally called the Nasir Al-Molk Mosque. Because the materials used in the construction are colorful glazed windows and colorful flower-style tiles, every 9-11 am, when the sun is shining obliquely into the main hall, it will reflect The colorful neon spots make people feel as if they are walking into the gorgeous rainbow.
However, the Pink Mosque is only the representative of the “most feminine” and “softest and cute” among the Persian mosques. In almost every Islamic country, the mosque is the architectural form with the most cultural heritage. For example, the Blue Mosque in Turkey has a European-style elegant style. Another example is the floating mosque in Malaysia.
Hafez Mausoleum in Shiraz
The Sheikh Loft Allah Mosque, located on the Imam Square in Isfahan, central Iran, is also a business card of Persian culture. It was built during the Safavid Dynasty (also known as the Safavid Dynasty) in the early 16th century, and its name originated from the father-in-law of King Abbas. It does not have courtyards and minarets like other mosques, only a tall mosque hall. However, its dome changes color according to the position of the sun. During the day, it is yellow-green, and in the evening it will show a faint pink.
Its giant dome is composed of dark blue and light yellow tiles, collaged into a huge petal shape, which is continuously spread out from the center circular dome. The circles of geometric symmetry reticulated patterns not only show the nobleness of religion, but also the majesty of imperial power. Its architectural complexity and artistic level are breathtaking. Even the famous “Lonely Planet Iran” has chosen it as the cover.
In addition to mosques, Iran also has a unique feature of architecture, that is, the tombs of celebrities. This is divided into two types, one is a single tomb, such as the tombs of the great poets Hafez and Sadie, and the other is a group of tombs of religious figures, such as the holy tomb of Imam Reza.
Like the Chinese, the Persians built the mausoleum for tribute, memorial and memorial. However, the tombs of celebrities, as an extension of Persian garden architecture, have been given a more chic and playful atmosphere in this unique country of poets.
Starting from the “Persian Poetry Fairy” Hafez, his collection of poems should not only be memorized by students, but even on the eve of the winter solstice every year, people have to recite the whole family around the stove.
Hafez’s cemetery is also located in Shiraz. Unlike a mausoleum, this place looks like a charming Persian courtyard: between two small polygonal ponds is an octagonal pavilion. Eight stone pillars support a tiled dome, and under the dome is the marble tombstone of Hafez. After sunset, the lights of the cemetery are on. The locals are used to walking here and chanting poems. Accompanied by the reciting of Hafez poems from the sound, they chant together: “Come to my tomb and pray to God, this will become a place of spiritual freedom .”
Another type of tombs with Persian characteristics is the tombs of religious saints. The shrine of Imam Reza, where Shiite devotees make a pilgrimage once in their lives, is located in Mashhad, a city in northeastern Iran. Imam Reza is the eighth imam in Shia history. He was killed by the Arab caliph in 818 AD and was buried here. Every year, Shiite Muslims from various countries come in groups to pay homage to the holy mausoleum.
The traditional Persian color extraction technology can make the color of the carpet durable.
The Holy Tomb is a huge park covering an area of more than 260,000 square meters, including a square, holy tomb, Goharshad Mosque, library, Reza Islamic University of Science and Technology, pilgrim restaurant, etc. There are also seven buildings in various styles around it. Different courtyard.
Persian carpets have a history of more than 2500 years and are an indispensable part of Persian culture
The holy tomb is located in the most central area of the holy mausoleum, with a huge golden vault, which is not accessible to Muslims. The front hall is a lobby for worshippers to pray and listen to doctrines. It is covered with traditional Persian blankets and the walls are covered with mirrors. Visitors pass through the chapel that can accommodate a thousand people and arrive at the resting place of Imam Reza. The tomb is covered by a frame made of pure gold. Thousands of pilgrims come to worship here every day, crying and expressing their excitement, kissing and touching the frame, and touching the wall full of scriptures when they leave. , So as to grieve and respect.
Persian carpet with gold inlaid silk
If architecture is the most unassuming cultural treasure of Persia, then the carpet is a daily civilization that can be embroidered with stars and be exhibited, and can enter the kitchen and be grounded.
Persian carpet has a history of more than 2500 years, it has been integrated into the life of every Iranian, and it is an indispensable part of Persian culture. Many people’s most direct perceptions of Persian culture are the wool carpets on the floor of every household, the rolled up silk carpets for worship, and the exquisite painting carpets framed by photo frames.
Once, the carpet merchant was one of the most decent and profitable professions in Iran: I went to the most famous carpet manufacturing cities of Qom, Kashan, and Mashhad to buy hand-woven carpets from famous designers, and sold them to the wealthy and expensive households in North Tehran People, or those who sell them to people who know the goods for traveling in Iran, make a lot of money with the dollar bills.
Traditional Persian carpets are treasures carved out of time: removing the labor-consuming processes of drawing and weaving, before the final product, a series of finishing processes such as singeing, fixing, washing and draining, drying, trimming, and solidification are required. , From beginning to end, craftsmen need to complete it by hand. Even the dyeing of carpets is hand-made from plants and natural minerals, such as the red color of pomegranate skin and the yellow color of walnut shell. The traditional Persian color extraction technology can make the color of the carpet durable. A high-quality carpet of 2m×3m often takes 2 to 3 years to complete.
Although more and more woven carpets have entered the market along with technological progress, the most expensive is always the manual craftsmanship. The most expensive Persian carpet in the world has been auctioned for a sky-high price of US$33.7 million because of its intricate patterns such as sickle leaves and vines. Today’s Persian carpets, such as raw materials, color, pattern and weaving, are all excellent, and they can easily sell for tens of thousands of yuan.
Among handmade carpets, silk carpets are the most expensive. The so-called silk carpet is the use of real silk in carpet weaving. Take the wool of lambs under one year old and add imported real silk to make a brightly colored silk carpet. Hanging on the wall with different angles of sunlight, the silk carpet can present a sparkling visual effect.
Mysterious miniature painting
In addition to architecture and carpets, the most sophisticated, most literary, and smallest form of Persian culture is miniature painting.
Miniature painting is the most mysterious existence in Persian art. Because of its unique expression style, it has always been associated with special cultural scenes such as religious meaning, mythology, folklore, and court life.
The miniature painting was originally the border pattern of the “Quran” and gradually evolved into the illustration content of the classic manuscript.
The so-called miniature painting is a picture drawn with a very thin pen. According to legend, some Iranian painters use kitten hair to make pens, and the thinnest pen end has only three hairs. The origin of Persian miniature painting was about the 3rd century AD, but the real development of a genre would have to advance to the Safavid dynasty in the 15th-16th century AD.
The miniature painting was originally the border pattern of the “Quran” and gradually evolved into the illustration content of the classic manuscript. Its size is very small, the largest does not exceed the page size, equivalent to the current 32 format. The characteristic of miniature painting lies in its perspective method. The size of the figure changes according to the importance. The more important the person, the greater the proportion. Its colors are generally gorgeous and colorful, with high saturation, and the style of painting is clear and bright, either depicting the luxurious and extravagant palace life, or depicting the bright and splendid pastoral scenery. The brush strokes are very delicate and slender as silk, depicting the expressions of characters and animals. It’s so vivid.
With the progress of the times, miniature painting is no longer limited to book illustrations. The contemporary Iranian master of miniature painting, Mahmoud Farhiqiyan, is a representative of the new school of miniature painting. He is good at depicting the emotions and emotions of characters. Most of the characters in the painting have nice faces and elegant figures. Miniature painting is now often used as the cover of books, ceramics, jewelry boxes, and pencil cases. Some clothing fabrics also choose to use miniature painting patterns for partial decoration.
Persians seem to be arrogant in their bones. After all, they have not only seen the splendor of the Persian Empire, but also experienced the Western romance of the “Little Paris in the Middle East” during the Pahlavi dynasty. They seem to be born arrogant and not deceived by the outside world. No matter how the US imperialism capital blocks, no matter how the new crown virus spreads arbitrarily, the Persians can do their own way and live their own little lives.
It’s not so much disdain in their bones, it’s better to say that they are full of noble artistic blood. The essence of Persian culture for thousands of years is condensed in them, turning into infinite exploration of the inside, focus not to be moved by the outside world, and earnest pursuit of the ultimate.
Art is the externalization of life, but also the manifestation of self. And those architectural complexes imprinted with religious plots, cumbersome and exquisite carpet patterns, and bright and lively miniature paintings just represent the Persians’ exploration and hope for a better life for thousands of years.