The History of Iran Art




Reza Khan, commander of the army, in the 1921 took over the power with a coup and self-appointed king in the 1926, after driving from the country Ahmad Shah Qajar. He was actually brought to power by a British-British agreement and although he did not believe in any religious faith fundamentally, in order to gain the trust and favor of the Ulema and the population, he initially respected the religious ceremonies, customs and traditions Muslims and officially participated in the mourning ceremonies in the month of Moharram.
Reza Shah worked hard to realize the political ideals of the British government and became the executive agent of Chamberlain's politics, Britain's first minstros. The latter argued that in order to dominate the regions of the Near and Middle East, Iran first had to dominate and to achieve this goal, it was necessary to weaken the Shiite religion which rests its foundations on the Qur'an and on the Shiite Ulemas. All this could not be achieved except through Reza Shah. These, in the first decade of reign, first tried to limit the influence of the Ulema in society and their number, therefore, in the 1935 forbade Iranian women to bring the hejab and in the last years of the reign forbade the carrying out of the ceremonies and religious events. In the second half of the reign, he asserted the theory of the race and taking as a pretext the common Aryan origin of the two Iranian and German peoples, changed course and moving away from Great Britain turned to Germany, technologically much superior. This fact was one of the reasons why, after the end of the Second World War, in the 1942 the British government insisted on his resignation and he was sent into exile in the city of Johannesburg in South Africa and then in the Mauritius islands. The oppression, the injustices and the harsh behavior of Reza Shah towards those who believed in the religion of Islam, made the people celebrate their abandonment of the country. After him, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of Reza Shah, one of the sons of many wives, came to power. He did not have the strength and the capacity of his father, he reigned as the absolute agent of foreigners. At the beginning of his reign, on the one hand the whole country was afflicted by political insecurity and on the other hand different popular groups were able to assert their opinions and consequently formed different political parties. In the 1950, a group of deputies of the national council parliament and some influential figures of the country, including university students and scholars and even ulema like Ayatollah Kashani and Ayatollah Taleghani, joined Dr Mohammad Mossaddeq and formed the National Front of the 'Iran. Once the foreigners were driven out of the country, they nationalized the oil industries and in the 1951 they liberated the national treasures of Iran in the hands of Great Britain. Then the Shah to regain power appealed to the Americans, and during the vice presidency of Nixon, Prime Minister Mossaddeq was arrested with an American military coup and the Shah, who had fled abroad, returned to the country and with the collaboration of the CIA and its Iranian branch, SAVAK - ie the police for the security of the country ¬- established a government of suppression and elimination of opponents. Immediately he started, as the first point of his program, an open fight against religion, the ulema, the nationalists and the Islamists and in the 1964 he arrested the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the "Marja'e taqlid", that is the reference source of all the Shiites in the world. This episode unleashed a major popular protest demonstration across Iran on the 5 June of the same year, in which more than 10.000 people lost their lives. Thus an important event occurred in the history of Iran: the seed of a great revolution spread out. The arrest of Ayatollah Khomeini and his exile, first in Turkey and later in Iraq, which lasted fifteen years, fueled the seed of the revolution. In the 1978, the crowd of faithful gathered in a district of Tehran to perform the prayer of the end of the month of fasting, rose in a great demonstration towards the center of the city, giving rise to a real revolution. The Ayatollah Khomeini, chosen by the people as a guide, directed the revolution from abroad. After a year of demonstrations, struggle and massacres of the demonstrators, finally in February of the 1979 the revolution triumphed. Imam Khomeini returned to Iran and ten days after his return the government fell and the people revolutionary and believing in God took over the fate of the country. This ten day period was called "The ten days of dawn". On April 1 of the 1979, in a referendum to choose the type of government, the 98,2 percent of the Iranian people voted for the Islamic Republic.
The Islamic Republic inherited a country that during the 57 years of the Pahlavi kingdom had lost its identity in all political, cultural, artistic, social, military and traditions of the country, and that without becoming completely Western or even Westernized, it carried on in all his affairs blind and servile imitation from the West. The only source of salvation for the country consisted of the great Ulema fighters and the Shiite religion, whose truth with the anti-religious activities of the Pahlavi, had been deviated, but the leadership of Imam Khomeini brought the country and the people straight path of the Jafarita religious school. Thus began the total reconstruction of the country that seemed very difficult.


Perhaps it is not yet time to talk about turning the arts in the Islamic Republic of Iran or at least "An art of the Islamic Republic" or "The Art of the Islamic Revolution". But, as with the very first light of the dawn at the end of the dark night, a clear day in the mind shows that, soon after, with the rising of the sun, it gives way to daily activities, also with regard to art, with the appearance of young people artists who strive to create, inspired by the belief and the Islamic thought and the rich inherited millenarian culture of Iran, works definitely different from those of the Pahlavi era, we can perhaps begin to make an assessment and give a correct judgment on the situation of art in the Islamic Republic. In this way it helps to pave the right path of artistic creativity to the next generation, taking into account the points of weakness and strength.

Architecture and urban planning

To get acquainted with the art of architecture and urbanism in the Islamic Republic, we must once again take a look at the situation of this art in pre-revolutionary Iran. Professor Iraj Etessam, architect and university lecturer, in an article entitled: "The comparative study of contemporary architecture and urban planning in Iran and Europe" writes: "Although Reza Shah during his twenty year reign went abroad, the presence of numerous foreign experts and consultants in all sectors, administrative, military and economic, encouraged the massive dissemination of European architectural and urban experiences in Iran. A number of Iranian architects and engineers, having completed their studies in Europe, particularly in Austria and Germany, spread the styles and principles of European architecture in Iran. As for urban planning, the European model of demolition of ancient monuments and of the old fabric of the city became a customary fact to allow the construction of large roads for the circulation of motor vehicles and perpendicular streets of urban traffic. Thus the ancient streets and squares were destroyed, without considering the importance of their architectural and urban specificities. Next to the squares and adjacent streets, administrative offices were built, such as the buildings of the police offices, the town hall, post offices and telecommunications, the state archives, the treasury, and justice, in order to change and extend the organizational system. and administrative of the country compared to the qajar period. In any case, the direct influence of European architecture in both public and residential buildings was very clear. The styles and architectural schools of that period can be listed according to the following categories:

1) the modern European and German Expressionist architecture before the 1930s that gained more public credibility, such as railway stations, hotels, large supermarkets, universities, royal palaces and streets;
2) the neo-classical architecture of Iran with the direct use of the architectural and ornamental elements of the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods, such as the buildings of Banca Melli in Via Ferdowsi in Tehran, the Police and the Iran-and Bastan Archaeological Museum;
3) the classical European architecture, with the direct use of European architectural and ornamental elements such as the Telegraph Palace in Piazza Sepah;
4) architecture mixed with the use of classical European elements and Iranian decorations such as the buildings built around the Hasan Abad Square in Tehran;
5) the "semi-colonial" architecture with the use of local materials, color and appearance, such as the buildings of the factories generally built by the Germans;
6) architecture as a continuation of the qajar style, but with an externalizing tendency like many residential buildings.
In any case, in all the aforementioned styles, the influence and presence of European architecture, materials and construction technology are very evident. After the end of the Second World War, and the occupation of Iran by the allied powers and the exile of Reza Shah, there is a period of decline in urban development and in architectural affairs in Iran. But a few years after the accession to the throne of Mohammad Reza Shah, from the 1942, construction activities resumed and continued until the Islamic Revolution. But this recovery was, more than ever, under direct American and European influence. The architecture in Europe and America, in the space of 37 years, from 1940 to 1977, passed through the various phases of modernism to its peak, after which we witness its sunset in the decade that followed the eighties. It is interesting to note that all the consequences of European and American architecture and urbanism are entirely reflected in our country, without having the slightest consideration of the real needs of our society. In reality, changes occur due to superficial imitations in all fields, particularly in architecture and urban planning.
We have previously said that the fifties were the culmination of modernism in Europe. In 1940 in Iran was established the faculty of fine arts directed by the French André Godard, who after a few years left the direction of the engineer Mohsen Foroughi and the French professors Siroux and Debrol were replaced by engineers Seyhoun and Ghiabi, young professors neo graduates in France. After hinting on the teaching of architecture as a fundamental pillar of the progress of architectural modernism in Iran, let us briefly examine the situation and the social, political and economic conditions of the country to see how and in what way the favorable terrain for development and development was created. the progress of architectural and urban modernism. The (economic) doctrine of Truman and more precisely the article 4 of the same, in Iran became the basis of programming and economic-social progress, and the Iranian society embarked on a rapid path towards the industrialization and unbridled growth of urbanism so much to become a consumer society. The architecture and urban planning in this period proceeded with the same European and American rhythm and underwent the same changes both for the academic education of the subject and for the architectural and urban projects and works. The tendency of modernism to simplicity and the post-post-war objectives, that is, to build more and save time and costs, determined the final exclusion of the ornamental elements and the use of "poor" building materials (for example, only brick, iron and glass), which although not fundamentally a negative factor, however, had a serious consequence in Iranian architecture that is a wrong understanding and a utilitarian concept of modernism, which created a method known as "build and sell". Unfortunately, this method, despite all the difficulties, continues today, for the same reasons for its appearance in society, because the successive experiences of our architects were not and are not able to replace it with an even faster and less expensive method in the construction of the buildings.
In this period the important buildings, designed by the Iranian architects, reflected the international method according to the European and American models; the beauty and the pleasantness of these projects depended (and depends) on the ability of the architects' planning and implementation. Some of them are made better and with good proportions and are considered excellent examples of the modernist architecture of that period. Among the important works we can mention the building of the former Senate which was a joint work of Foroughi and Ghiabi and is a building built according to the modernistic principles of the international method. In designing the Avicenna mausoleum at Hamadan and Nader Shahin's mausoleum at Mashad, engineer Seihoun took a step beyond international-style modernism and considering the life and fame of those characters, he used appropriate metaphors in the architecture of those monuments. In any case, during the last decade of this period, while repeating the usual western methods and styles, we also tried to use Iranian architectural and urban features and specificities. Unfortunately, however, discussions and debates on the use of traditional Iranian architecture, which was expected to create a new context in architecture, except for some exceptional cases, opened a new chapter entitled "National Architecture" which was devoid of a meaning and a clear concept. As a result, it became an insignificant semi-modernist architecture disguised or better superficially made up with traditional architectural elements, many examples of which can be seen in Tehran and other cities in the country. In the 1979, the Islamic Revolution triumphed victorious, and while the first stages of economic change were going on, a war was imposed on Iran, which for 8 years conditioned all programs and activities including urban and architectural ones. The first change in terms of architecture and urban planning, after the Islamic Revolution, took place in the field of education and architectural teaching. The Committee of the Cultural Revolution elaborated a new program for all the schools and institutes of this discipline. But beyond the problem of war, determining factors such as the lack of sources and scientific materials in Persian, texts written and elaborated to provide the objectives set in the program and the lack of teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach and for to understand Islamic architecture and culture, led students to turn to the only secure source, namely European and American magazines and books. When it is said that the Islamic Revolution is a revolution of values, and at a time when architecture and urban planning also tend to use local values ​​and cultures worldwide, blind and superficial imitation is more than ever unreasonable. from abroad. The architecture of the Islamic Republic in order to provide for the needs of today's industrial society and to find new criteria that have roots in irano-Islamic culture and rest on new technologies and materials, requires a total and pondered effort in which the imitation from appearances do not have the smallest space. On the other hand, precise control, observation of the criteria and a competent institution or organization with national directive responsibility are required. Unfortunately, what is currently being done and built in the name of architecture, is not subject to any technical and aesthetic control and is precisely the repetition of projects and works already realized in another place, in America or in Europe.

The figurative arts

The painting of this period, ie the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 up to 1999, is divided into two subperiods: the first goes from the beginning until the end of the imposed war and the second from the end of the war onwards. In the first subperiod, different trends are noted:

- a group of artists, poorly endowed with the characteristics of the Islamic Revolution, continued to paint with the same usual American and European styles, that is their painting is devoid of specific form and content, a kind of combination of lines, surfaces and colors that are pleasing to the painter, which these painters themselves define as international painting
- another group of painters who have already found and consolidated their own personal style. Among them we can include painters like Javad Hamidi, Ahmad Esfandiari and Parviz Kalantari
- a third group is composed of young painters who want and strive to work for the Revolution and to create works for its continuation. These painters are not aware of or have little knowledge of their artistic baggage (or their own millenarian artistic identity) and are taught according to the Western style. They try to paint the religious or inspired themes of the Revolution and the imposed war, but their practical style is the style of "socialist realism" of the first two decades after the end of the Second World War. It is worth mentioning that this group was formed with this name in Russia and was wanted by Stalin. For a short time the majority of European communist artists followed him, but later, in France, he changed his name to "Painters Witnessing his own Time" and continued his activities until the forties, dissolving shortly thereafter. In Iran, followers of this style are active in an association called "Howze-ye honari" ('artistic circle'). Although they believe in their personal identities, they follow European political models and enjoy the full support of governmental and political authorities
- a fourth group, looking for a way in which foreign models are not imitated and political aspects do not prevail, but rather a way in which works are created that have roots in Iranian-Islamic culture and which express the Iranian sentiments and aesthetics . This group, which is in the minority, has little artistic manifestation.
In the first decade after the imposed war, the first group, or imitators of Western painting, or how they present themselves, the "internationalists", tried to iranize their works with little changes, inspired by ancient symbols. Entering the free Azad Eslami University, they committed themselves to teaching their working methods. The second group, the painters of the Revolution, began to teach their opinions at the University of Arts and the Shahid University. In practice, the latter have undertaken a kind of painting that has roots both in European art and in Islamic culture and for this reason has a tendentious appearance. The third group has not undergone any change. Finally, the fourth group was more involved in teaching art rather than in artistic production, as such works, even if they were Iranian and authentic, could not enjoy the support and favor of governmental art managers.
Meanwhile, the number of graduates in the various disciplines of painting is growing day by day, and this has led to an increase in the number of painting workshops and the organization of many collective exhibitions. Unfortunately, however, these exhibitions are organized in the capital of the country ie in Tehran. Among these exhibitions we can mention the painting biennials and the annual ones called "Manifestazioni dei Sentimenti".
In the 1986 the author of the present book presented to the deputy minister for the art of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Orientation, the project of organizing biennial exhibitions in order to encourage and encourage young people to create works art in the various branches of the visual arts such as painting, graphics, comics, drawing, sculpture, fresco, simple and enamelled terracotta work. The competent office gradually began organizing biennial exhibitions in each of the artistic disciplines by making available the necessary financial resources. Some of these biennials, after a few years, have become international exhibitions such as the biennials of satire and caricature, comics and photography (which at the beginning was annual) and the biennial of graphics. The biennials of painting, graphics and frescoes were more favorably received by the public, especially by young people, compared to other arts. The biennial painting is organized every two years, in winter, that of graphics in spring, of the fresco in summer, of photography in autumn and that of the terracotta workings in spring. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to encourage young and creative artists, rewards the top ten chosen by a jury composed of famous artists, with ten gold medals.
Given the great activity of young people in the field of painting, in addition to the biennial, there is an annual exhibition on the Women's Day, which is celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of the Venerable Lady of Islam, Fatima Zahra (peace of she), in which the pictorial works of women and girls are exhibited, under the name of "the Manifestation of Sentiments". And yet on the occasion of the "Ten days of the Aurora", the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, an annual exhibition of paintings is organized in Tehran, in the capitals of the regions and in the other large cities; moreover, on the occasion of some historical events, exhibitions of paintings are often organized in which sometimes the works on display are sold in favor of some needy group or institute. Among these we can mention the exposures pro-Bosnia Herzgovina, pro earthquake victims or in support of various incurable diseases. The municipality of Tehran has also established some Culture Houses in different parts of the city and more than 20 painting workshops to encourage artists, to perform various arts teaching courses and to organize individual and / or joint exhibitions. One of the international exhibitions of painting was the exhibition of Haram-e Amn or of "The Sacred Place of Security" which was organized on the occasion of the massacre of the Iranian pilgrims during the days of the pilgrimage to Mecca, attended by artists from around the world , from Latin America to Africa, from China to Australia and from other countries of the world.
One of the activities of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Orientation is to organize annual regional youth festivals in the disciplines of drawing, painting and other visual arts in four regional capitals in which the masters and young artists participate, at the end of which they are rewarded the best works chosen in each artistic discipline. Another international exhibition is also organized, which we hope will continue with a two-year or three-year deadline and is the international exhibition of calligraphy of the Islamic world. This exhibition was organized for the first time in the 1998 and the artists of many Islamic countries participated.
The miniature
This art, erroneously presented with the foreign term "miniature", is an original and authentic Iranian art, which after the painter Reza Abbasi, in the last years of the Safavid period, suffered a certain qualitative decline, due to the splendor and the spread of Western imitation painting by the group of artists who had traveled abroad (like Mohammad Zaman). In the qajar period few artists took care of this type of painting and most of them lived in cities far from the capital, like Isfahan and Shiraz, where the customs, traditions and culture of the past were respected and this art was taught to a few students. In the Pahlavi period, for a few years, a group of artists taught this art in a school founded by Hossein Tarherzadeh-ey Behzad, among them there were masters like Bahadori, in the design of the carpet, Hadi Tajvidi, the miniaturist painter and some other person who took care of it until the end of life and tried to teach it even in their own homes. Among the students of this group we can mention the names of Mahmud Farshchian, Houshang Jezi Zadeh, Abu Ata, Motie and Mohammad Tajvidi. But Reza Shah, after the return of Kamal ol-Molk from abroad and the establishment of the high school of Kamal ol-Molk, had the Taherzadeh-ey Behzad school of national arts shut down, forbidding all his activities. During the reign of the first Pahlavi it ​​was only sought to teach at a very low level, the minimum of the principles of these arts in the high schools of arts and techniques and to prevent their definitive disappearance. After the Islamic Revolution, the Committee of the Cultural Revolution established a university discipline called "Industrie Manifatturiere" or craft, in order to preserve the national and local arts, in which students were provided with detailed knowledge about the different arts. falls into oblivion such as kilim weaving, crochet work, etc. Painting, gilding and miniatures were also part of the craftsmanship and their teaching started even if not very in-depth. In the first decade after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, a group of masters and artists believing in the authentic and iran-Islamic values ​​and principles of art (including the author of this book) sought to introduce the teaching of painting into the universities. of the miniature and other Islamic arts as a subject of academic teaching, but this request was not accepted by the planning department of the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. So this group was committed to encouraging and encouraging young people, indirectly and through the publication of articles and speeches in different locations and this favored the organization of the first biennial painting of miniature in the summer of 1994 and a set of conferences on this topic. This exhibition attracted many young people to this art, so much so that the number of participants in the second biennial almost doubled. This led to the art faculties such as the Shahid University and the Yazd University to include four miniature units in their academic teaching programs. And furthermore, free courses of teaching of art took place by a few masters still alive. With the publication of the acts of the second biennial painting of the miniature by the Minister of Culture and Islamic Orientation and the Association of Figurative Arts, and with the publication of several articles in the quarterly journal of art, even artists belonging to the the fourth group took care of researching the principles of this art and translating the articles written on this subject by the Orientalists and publishing them. With the publication of the book "The Vision of the Art of the Islamic Revolution" by the publishing house Oruj it is desirable that in a not so distant future we will witness the rebirth of an Iranian-Islamic art that is worthy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Among the outstanding masters of this art must be named artists such as Mahmud Farshchian, Houshang Jezi Zadeh, Rostam Shirazi, Motie, Mehregan, Aqa Miri, Takestani, Alijan Pur and Rajavi.
The graphics
In the classification of the arts, this art can be considered a branch of drawing and painting, implemented through the use of points, lines, surfaces and colors. It is used for advertising in the industrial society; in other words, it is at the service of the consumption of society through clear and explicit messages. Graphic artists, more than painters, have promoted group initiatives and events. The first and second biennial of this art was organized by the Association of Graphic Artists in collaboration with the Department of publications of the Organization of Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRIB), Soroush, in the museum contemporary arts. And from the third biennial onwards, the Center of Visual Arts of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Orientation assumed the responsibility of organizing them, taking advantage of the government's financial subsidies. The sections generally presented in these exhibitions are: wall or poster advertising; the sign; the pictogram; pagination; the illustration of books and other drawings of this type that are at the service of the production and consumption of today's society.
A section of graphic art, or satire - traditionally defined in Iran caricature - was presented first in the graphic biennial and then in an independent biennial caricature, which immediately assumed international character. Subsequently, the biennial of graphics and the annual illustration of children's books were organized at international level.
For the other branch of graphic art, ie photography, an annual event was organized first, but the inability to present quality and creative photos, led the organizers to organize it every two years and after its first biennial, organized itself internationally. The exhibition of drawings and illustrations of children's books was organized annually at national level, and later in order to enrich it qualitatively, it was organized internationally. The internationalization of the exhibitions was very useful for the young generation, as they gave the opportunity to know the evolution and progress of these arts in other parts of the world, but had (and still has) the unpleasant aspects that are between the other inevitable, including the fact that the Iranian artist to be active worldwide, abandons his artistic identity and follows the international art, especially the western one. This also applies to painting.

The other arts

Among other biennial exhibitions, there is ceramics. This exhibition, where there are many works of the young generation, was organized much later than the other biennials. It should be remembered that the sculpture triennial is also organized, born after the biennial of ceramics. One of the artistic manifestations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is the annual exhibition of crafts organized by the Institute of Manufacturing Industries dependent on the Ministry of Industry. The first three exhibitions are organized respectively in the cities of Isfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz, so each year it is one of the capitals of the regions.
The annual exhibition of the Persian carpet, an initiative of the Organization of Industries, dependent on the homonymous Ministry, is organized every year, first in one of the regional capitals and immediately afterwards moves to Tehran. The objectives of organizing the annual craft exhibition are to attract and encourage local and national art activists and craftsmen to keep their art alive and to continue developing it. In fact, it can be argued that a sort of rebirth of local arts or better craftsmanship has begun in the Islamic Republic of Iran and we hope to see its fruitful results. Among these arts, the art of the carpet and the fabric, the art of wood including the different inlay work, the art of working in metal like the silver works, with the silver threads, the engravings on the metals, the art of working with inlaid and non-majolica tiles are more active. But unfortunately the costs of creating these works of art are very high and for this reason they do not have a worthy feedback on the market.
We will try to provide more explanations on these arts in the part of "The Traditional Arts".

Theater and cinema

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, very serious efforts were made in the field of the show to transform this Western and Westernized art from the indifferent intellectuals of the pre-Revolution period into an Iranian art inspired by the culture of the Revolution. It is absolutely certain that every social change, in particular cultural and political revolutions, have their own specific culture, literature and art, or at least they should endow it, as it is in the nature of every revolution the negation of the values ​​of the previous system and the foundation and stabilization of new ones.
The Islamic Revolution created an undeniable and important turning point in the art of entertainment that could be briefly described as follows: negative screenplays were excluded as the result of industrial life and apparent western comforts, which often presented the disappointment and misery of being human in the age of industry, and only in the art faculties were held performances for the study and research of students of this discipline. In the public theater rooms, screenplays were brought to the scene that generally criticized the previous monarchical system and the comforts imported from Europe and presented the life of the revolutionary people to demonstrate their natural right to revolution. They emphasized the positive and dynamic aspects of life, highlighting the struggle against oppression that had been a slogan of the Revolution in all the post-revolution scripts. Important steps were also made in the self-consciousness and in the rebirth of Iranian, local and popular show and art, and this clearly demonstrates the effort to find a way out of the dead ends of Western spectacle.
The organization of showbiz festivals from the first years after the revolution, the importance given to the shows and scripts written by Iranians, especially by young people, the presence and active participation of Iranian artists in the entertainment festivals, initiatives and to the European artistic manifestations with the beautiful performances of the show of mourning for the saints imams and with the puppet show, all this helped to pave the way for the creation of an entirely Iranian performing art; the relationship of Iranian artists with the important theatrical currents of the world together with the celebration of the world day of the show celebrated every year in Iran, are other positive steps taken in the short term after the victory of the revolution. One of the initiatives worthy of note is the formation of the "Center of Performing Arts" at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Orientation, which is equipped with fairly good means and availability, and the formation of entertainment associations in the regional capitals of the regions. which encouraged the participation and active presence of the people and artists in the field of the country's show. Nevertheless there are many shortcomings and even today it is observed that Western styles and technologies and theatrical scripts are inspired by the European one. The cause of this could be sought in the translations of Western works in these years following the Islamic Revolution. Teachers who teach the art of performing arts in the faculties of art, whose number increases continuously, have generally completed their studies abroad and consequently seek in Western culture the principles they deem necessary for the show. This problem will only be resolved when the teaching is entrusted to teachers and teachers educated and instructed by the Revolution.

The cinema

The cinema, whose main nature consists in introducing the spectators into the episodes and events through the moving images, in the nineteenth century all over the world was substituted for the theater. In Iran after the Revolution, for various reasons this art was more successful and welcomed more and more enthusiastic spectators, especially among the young generation who is always looking for adventure and novelty. The post-Revolution cinema is classified into five major groups:

a) cinema for children and adolescents: this type of cinema, which before the Islamic Revolution was meaningless and content, in the Islamic Republic has instead undertook rapid progress, both in content and in technology. Some young directors, men and women, have produced films for children, whose variety of themes and content has made them important even at world level. Among these we can mention the movie "The little bird of happiness" directed by Puran Derakhshandeh and the film "Where is the friend's house", by the famous Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Cinema for children and adolescents is divided into different groups such as: psychological and educational cinema; comedy and entertainment cinema; the fairy-tale and story-telling cinema; the cinema of adolescents of the revolution. The first three of the groups listed above were more successful, especially among children. Even the short films on the themes and problems of the children's world have achieved some success, but unfortunately the adolescents' cinema and the revolution has assumed a propaganda aspect and slogans that undermine its quality and realistic appearance.
b) the cinema of romance: this type of cinema is divided into several sub-groups: cinema as a continuation of the pre-revolution one, whose films are produced with few changes to avoid being contrary to the values ​​and principles of the Revolution and the Islamic Republic . These films promote Western culture and civilization presented in Iranian garments. Repeated and imitated scenes from Western movies abound in them. These films are generally produced by directors who have completed their studies in the West and show a lot of dependence on European and American cinema. Even if their number is not high, but their production is not even small! The second genre of fictional cinema is cinema which, with a new vision, studies and examines people's lives. These films, although presenting a fair variety, are very similar to each other in the plot. The screenplays of these films are generally written on themes already known as smuggling, disappointed and frustrated love, the family and the separation between husband and wife and the suffering of children and episodes that happen in small towns and villages. It is noteworthy that some films of this kind are produced thanks to ethical and scientific studies
c) Revolutionary and war cinema: except for some films produced in imitation of American war films, which are in fact the genre of pre-Revolution fiction films, this type of cinema includes the richest, most educational and even the most artistic Iranian films of the post-Revolution period. In fact, on the one hand the great revolution of Iran against the monarchical system and on the other eight years of defense against an unprecedented and imposed war, as well as the legends reminiscent of the battles of Arteserse and Shapur against the Roman emperors, have so enriched and strengthened the imagination that the memory of a small episode turns into an exciting epic tale, particularly when they are based on a tangible and true truth. The name and fame of Iranian cinema has surpassed the borders of the country thanks to this kind of cinema and the competition between this genre and the fictional films, has led the latter to retrain and to promote and elevate their quality
d) historical cinema: this type of cinema includes films on various themes taken from history. Of these genres, the films produced are few and the best are the works of the late director Ali Hatami who achieved a remarkable success with the film Kamal ol-Molk (on the life of the famous Iranian painter Mohammad Ghaffari nicknamed Kamal ol-Molk). The Iranian set designers are not used to respecting and preserving the authenticity of historical events and interfering with their pleasure in historical events. This fact has undermined, despite good acting and excellent direction, the value of Iranian historical films, declassifying them to the level of normal novel
e) TV series: the TV series or better TV series are another kind of cinematographic works that have become widespread in recent years. The technological progress of the television image and the possibility of moving the screening of films from the large screens of cinemas to the small screen of televisions in people's homes across the country has made it possible, in addition to broadcasting films on television, preparation and production of television series or television series that every week put numerous spectators in front of the televisions. This system, which was introduced by Western culture, has very easily managed to occupy an important place in people's lives. Unfortunately, however, this kind of chain films and mass-produced films often deal with themes in which the director can, in some way, add other episodes and increase the number of parts to be transmitted. A notable example is the serial Hezar Dastan, produced by Ali Hatami, in which the repetitive scenes are much less than the others. Imitation and cloning, ie the production of very similar serials, which exists between directors and set designers and facilitates production, does not favor the production of quality TV series

Traditional Arts

This term refers to the artistic works that have their roots in the artistic traditions of the past and in a certain sense represent their logical continuation. Some writers and experts also present these arts with the name of craftsmanship.
The range of traditional arts is very wide and in each area and region, in relation to the geographical and economic position of the place, some of these arts have been preserved. The greatest number of these are consumer arts, that is to say those in which the works produced are used in everyday life. The arts, rooted in the rich artistic culture of the past, are more widespread in the cities that have become famous as the cultural and artistic center of the country that once were the political and economic capital of Iran. The most active of these are the cities of Isfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz.

The art of wood

These are arts based on different methods of working on wood such as inlay, interlocking, engraving, etc., each with its own working method. The common factor between the inlay and the joint is the design, imitated by the works of the Safavid period and if there have been changes, the workings are always carried out according to the principles of the Safavid style. As far as the art of moarraqkari is concerned, that is the interlocking of wood, the work proceeds like that with majolica tiles. First the drawing is done on the sheet of paper, then the different parts of the design are cut on a thin wood or on a type of wooden board called three layers, then the cut pieces are attached according to the drawing on a wooden tile, and after having polished the surface covered by the different pieces of wood, it is passed over with the colorless or colored transparent enamel. In order to have a multicolored design we generally use different types of wood of various colors, for example for the yellow color we use orange wood, for the brown the walnut wood, for the white color the wood of the poplar or the plane tree , for the red the wood of the betel nut and for the black color the ebony wood is used. Currently, in addition to wood, other materials such as colored metals are used. In the art of monabbatkari or the engraving, first draw the drawing on a solid and solid piece of wood, usually made from ebony or betel nut, then engrave, excavate the negative parts and at the end of the work the drawing manifests itself in relief. The monabbat has a long history in Iranian art that dates back to pre-Islamic times. But with regard to moarraq, or the interlocking of wood, the exact origin and history are not known. Another art of wood, which has gained importance and has spread widely, consists of gereh chini or nell'annodatura. In this type of work, first the drawing is prepared, which is generally geometric, on the sheet of paper and then the positive parts of the drawing, after being cut from the wood, are attached to each other and then the negative spaces are left empty or filled with pieces of colored glass. The objects prepared with this type of processing, which are geometrically cross-linked, generally install themselves in the windows, with a double function: to penetrate the air and the light and to prevent the view from the outside. These works are still performed in small cities, where buildings are built according to Iranian architectural and ornamental styles. The art of khatamkari or inlay is mostly widespread in the cities of Isfahan and Shiraz, but the best works of this art are produced in Shiraz. The process of the work can be described as follows: first the slats having a triangular, square or polygonal section are cut, then they are placed one next to the other in the direction of the length and are attached to each other to create a section of shape geometric larger and more complete like the stars or a multilateral form. After that they are cut into thin pieces (almost one / thousandth of a meter) and stick onto a wooden plate to create a geometric pattern. Finally it is polished with oil. Also in this work, in addition to colored woods, other materials such as ivory, camel or cow bone and metals such as copper and brass are also used. The best works of this art are created by Sanie Khatam and are kept in the museum of Saadabad in Tehran.
The nazokari or the thin wood work is an art in which we work with very thin sheets of wood, in which the sheets are first cut according to the previously prepared drawing, then the cut pieces are attached to each other in a similar way to the processing with inlaid majolica tiles. The best works of this art are produced in western Iran, particularly in Sanandaj.

Metal processing

These arts include the engraving, the malilehkari or the gold or silver filigree embroidery, the decoration with metal gems that could also be called the inlay of the metal.
The engraving on metals is carried out with different methods and techniques, of which at present the most widespread are: the traditional engraving or beating on the metal which is made to project the desired or chosen design to be engraved on the object. In this method, the inside of the metal object on which you want to engrave the drawing with a thick layer of tar or wax is covered first, then the drawing is drawn with the pencil on the outer side of the object, then with a chisel and the hammer beat the negative parts of the design that penetrate, on the opposite side, into the tar or wax, leaving the desired design on the object. Then, through the heating of the object, the tar or wax which melts them is separated and finally what remains is removed with the use of a chemical solution. This method is carried out at Isfahan on copper and at Shiraz on silver.
The digging or filing of the metal: in this method, which is generally carried out on metals such as copper, silver, brass or steel, after having polished the surface of the object, we trace the design and then the positive parts of the design are excavated, leaving the negative parts of the design in relief. This method is more widespread in Isfahan, where there is a centuries-old tradition and there are many skilled artists.
Metal filings: this method is generally carried out on objects made of thick metals, usually silver. The working process is as follows: after drawing the drawing on the object, the negative parts of the drawing are excavated and removed. The thickness of the parts to be excavated varies according to the size of the projection to be given to the positive parts of the design. As you can see, the difference between this method and the previous one, that is filing, consists in the fact that in the displacement method, the negative parts of the design are excavated and in different sizes (according to the desired protrusion that could even change in different parts of the same design) while in the filing method, the positive parts of the design are limited in equal measure. This method of engraving is very similar to the engraving on wood, but in this the fineness and precision are considerably higher because the wood's fabric does not allow the artist to affect the details of the design with precision and is often forced to neglect them , while in the work on metal the artist engraves with more freedom the details of the design and for this reason the metal works are produced with great variety.
The decoration with gems: in this method, which reached its maximum splendor in the art of the Achaemenids and the Sassanids and even later in the Safavid era and is currently in the process of recovery, the drawing on the surface of the metallic object is first traced , then the positive parts of the design are excavated, then another metal is tapped into the strips and the grooves, which is beaten to fill the entire groove space and at the end it is heated in the oven in order to make the metal completely stick together mother and decorated metal. In the Safavid period the mother metal was made of iron or copper and the excavations were filled with gold and silver, and at the time Achaemenid the mother and decorated metal were respectively gold and copper or vice versa. Currently copper and brass are used, otherwise an artistic work is produced, by order of the purchaser, with other precious metals. Sometimes the metallic object is decorated with precious stones or the excavated grooves are filled with colored glass. The culmination of the art of decoration with precious stones was reached during the Sassanid era. Nowadays, given the too high price of precious stones, this kind of works are made only on the order of the purchaser.
Metal displacement: there is another method of displacement almost similar to engraving on metal, but without the use of tar or wax. In this method the object is produced from the metal with a relatively high thickness, then it beats with the chisel on the negative parts of the drawing previously traced on the metal moving its mass towards the positive parts of the same to make them protruding. In this method, therefore, nothing is raised from the metal, and unlike the engraving method, where the drawing on a surface of the object is positive and on the opposite side is negative, here a surface is positive and protruding and the opposite side is smooth and devoid of any projection and / or depth. In this method, soft metals like copper are generally used, but given the difficulties and the high precision necessary for the execution of the work, few artists deal with this art.
Welding: it is another method of working with metal, in which the different parts of the chosen design are prepared separately from the metal, then they are welded together. This method has been common in Iran for more than three thousand years and was used in the mannaic Iranian art.


This art has an ancient history in Iranian civilization. Although the date and place of invention of this art is not known, it is quite certain that for some 6,000 years ago, in the areas of the Zagros mountain range, west of Iran, a kind of weaving was widespread. mats and about three thousand years ago, the Iranians covered the ground of their homes with varnish types of carpet. The different types of this art, generally with the aim of providing for the needs of the people, were practiced during different periods and periods and in some cases they also had evolutions. Among them we can mention the arts of weaving the carpet, the Kilim, the Jajim, the Palas, the Zilu, the Namad etc ..
Other types of weaving such as zariduzi (the embroidery in gold threads and other brilliant materials), the termeh (the kashmiri fabric), the duorme szi (the embroidery with the gold or silver thread), the tekkeh duzi (the stitching of different pieces of fabric between them or the addition of pieces of fabric to the dress), the suzan duzi (sewing work), etc., which were used to make clothes, were widespread until the century last. For various reasons such as the lack of efficiency of their production on the one hand and the invention and production of industrial fabrics in the factories on the other, these arts have been practically abandoned or are practiced in the laboratories and workshops of some old masters. It is still widespread to work the carpet and the other types already mentioned that serve to cover the ground of the houses, which, with the exception of the carpet, have preserved their artistic values. The carpet instead lost its splendor due to the production of machine-made carpets. However, while the value and splendor of hand-made carpets in some cities such as Tabriz, Mashad, Isfahan, Nain, Shiraz and Kerman remain unchanged, with the exception of the carpets produced by nomadic tribes, the rest, both in the working method and in the drawing, I am an imitation from the works of the past.
In the second decade of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, some large hand-made carpets were produced to be used in wide and very large spaces. Some artists produced rugs with very fine knotting, using the mixed material of kork wool and silk, which show realistic drawings, panoramas, portraits of characters, images of shrines and mausoleums of saints and recently the images of the works of the great masters like the Farshchian master.
These works have mostly an ornamental aspect and can only be hung on the wall to embellish the environment. For the revival of the art of the carpet and other similar fabrics, there is a strong need for government support and financial and investment institutions to be able, in some way, to compete with the less expensive carpets made by machine. Despite this, except the gholi (carpet up to two meters in length), other types such as Kilim, Gabbeh, Jajim, Palas, etc ... which are still produced by hand, have a good spread and the Organization for the Reconstruction he contributed greatly to the rebirth of these arts, in whose works, the drawing is generally copied and imitated by the ancient ones, while the colors are often produced by chemical materials and very rarely are the natural colors produced by plants.
Regarding the Namad, it must be said that there is no change in style, design and materials and artists still create their own works with the same ancient methods.
Other types of fabric (and knitting) such as the duorme sormeh, tekkeh duzi, suzan duzi, etc ... are still practiced in some cities like Shiraz, Kerman and Isfahan, but as we said before, they do not have a ' considerable importance.
Among the other arts, which we sometimes speak of for having roots in ancient Iranian culture, we can mention the decoration with filigree of precious metals) or enamelling. Currently, something is produced only in Isfahan, because the masters of these arts are either retired or have already died.
The malilehkari, inherited from the period of the Achaemenids, consists in decorating and adorning the artistic works of metal with the very thin silver and gold filigree, and the minakari consists in returning the dishes and the meal objects with the stone of and make it solidly attached to objects by cooking them in the oven. This art is relatively common in the cities of Shiraz and Isfahan, while the former is carried out only on the order of the purchaser.

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