عنوان مقاله [English]
Erwin Panofsky, a prominent art historian, introduced the concept of iconology as a methodical approach to interpreting and decoding artworks. This approach involves delving into and establishing connections between the visual elements of an artwork and its underlying linguistic foundations, cultural concepts, and ideologies. Iconology, as proposed by Panofsky, goes beyond simply analyzing the formal aspects of an artwork. It seeks to uncover the deeper layers of meaning embedded within the visual representation. By analyzing the visual elements related to the linguistic and cultural context of the artwork’s creation, iconology reveals the complex interplay of symbols, metaphors, and allegories. By using iconology, scholars and art historians can achieve a more thorough understanding of the significance of an artwork. The systematic approach of iconology allows for a nuanced analysis that goes beyond surface-level observations. It enables exploration of the complex interconnections between form, content, and the cultural context. The current research aims to investigate the artistic contributions of Nizamuddin Sultan Mohammad Tabrizi and sheds light on the animal painting technique called the “Gereft-o-Gir method” during the Tabriz Safavid era in Iran. Animal paintings, characterized using the “Gereft-o-Gir method,” were widely employed in Persian art and held significant symbolic value. These paintings symbolize the eternal struggle between opposing forces, with one ultimately prevailing over the other. In mythology, they represent the battle between good and evil, lightness and darkness. The “Gereft-o-Gir method” is a unique painting style in which artists depict scenes of animal combat in a symbolic, imaginative, and sometimes mythological manner. This research employs a descriptive-analytical approach to address the inquiry into the hidden meanings embedded within the animal fighting depicted in Sultan Mohammad’s paintings. Specifically, this study focuses on a case study of the painting titled “Rostam Sleeping while Rakhsh fights a Lion” found in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (The First Labor). By analyzing the visual details, symbolism, and cultural context of this particular artwork, this research aims to uncover the underlying messages and allegorical representations. The investigation seeks to decipher the intricate narrative and symbolic significance behind the depiction of animal combat, exploring its connection to the broader cultural, social, and mythological frameworks of the Tabriz Safavid era. Furthermore, this research contributes to a broader understanding of Nizamuddin Sultan Mohammad Tabrizi’s artistic legacy and his unique approach to animal painting. By examining his works through the lens of the “Gereft-o-Gir method,” scholars and art enthusiasts can gain insights into the artist’s creative process, his symbolic language, and his engagement with the prevailing cultural and ideological currents of the time. This study uses Erwin Panofsky’s approach (Iconology) to analyze the paintings. The study’s conclusions demonstrate that Sultan Mohammad was able to convey the epic tale of the Shahnameh (The First Labor) symbolically and metaphorically through the creation of this artwork. He instills ideas that go beyond the story’s surface level by using characters such as the horse (Rakhsh), lion, snake, and trees. Rakhsh’s battle with the lion symbolizes the struggle between good and evil, while the sudden appearance of the snake on the tree represents the ongoing conflict between demons and divine forces. In general, Sultan Mohammad portrayed complex ideas appealingly by fusing natural and animal features, appealing motifs, and the linguistic framework of the Shahnameh.