Unofficial graphical art of Iran

Art in the realm of Islamic-Persian endures a position superior than that of appearance; nevertheless this may be the main basis for Islamic art to root in tradition and profound Islamic concepts. A Muslim artist with a high perception of concepts and religious content endeavors to create artistic works that are measurable according to his sincerity and spiritual taste. One of the major façades of his work is the visual incarnation of the holy names of God, especially Allah. The testimonial of Islam is seen on many monuments of Islamic architecture;  لااله الا الله(There is no God but Allah) the first the foundation of the basis of Islam, theism; and also محمد (Mohammad) conveying prophecy and the second foundation of Islam are all observable in Islamic inscriptions and function as an element of embellishment. One of the visual manifestations of these holy names which are richened with graphical purposes are designing the inscriptions in the form of living creatures such as lions, peacocks, doves, and etc. The role of the lion, apart from its astronomic intention, endues a religious symbol in Islam. Among Shi’ah Muslims, Imam Ali has always been renowned for his courageousness and strength and this is shown in the form of a lion. Therefore many religious prayers seeking the aid of Ali such as the Nade Ali prayers and many others are illustrated in the graphical form of a lion. Inscriptions in the form of a peacock are also common in Persian art. These designs are typically accompanied with religious contexts. In ancient mythology, this bird drank the water of life and gained eternal life; in Islamic literature and culture, however, the peacock is acknowledged as the bird of paradise. The graphical design of the peacock, usually seen as pairs, is perceived on the doorways to mosques, schools, and religious places. At times, the artist merely applies letters of graphical designs with a mystery concept. For   instance the repetition of the letter« و »in a symmetry and concurrent manner is an example of this artistic method. This pattern is in fact a symbol of the twelfth Imams of Shi’ah. The reason for this is that the repletion of two « و »in the Abjad system is the number 12. Finally, it should be reminded that these works in the realm of Islamic art behold and originate from the most purebred image of “holy art” and its visual appearance is the manifested from the “unofficial graphical art of Iran.”The mentioned works confirm this unique truth; which throughout many centuries, the artist has created and formed with his love and devotion to God and Islam; that without doubt give an appealing spiritual calmness to the spectator.

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