عنوان مقاله [English]
One of the most fundamental cultural characteristics of a country is its educational system and public education. With the beginning of the modern era, following the change in the position of man in the world, the need for changes became more apparent. According to many experts, the Qajar era is the beginning of an era of transformation in Iranian society. According to social innovations in this period, there was an increasing need to expand the public education system and establish new schools. The interesting point is that in this period of history, the importance and necessity of public education was not only the concern of Iranian intellectuals and elites, but gradually the common people also realized its role and showed interest in acquiring it. In the new Qajar era educational system, teaching painting was a discipline that received special attention from the outset. The first students sent to the West to learn this art form were given particular consideration, as were the establishment of schools. While early painting instruction often emphasized non-artistic uses such as military, science, medicine, and geography, it later became acknowledged as a fine art within the educational system, even leading to the establishment of specialized schools. One of the branches provided in the program of the new schools of the Qajar period was the teaching of painting, taught both in a school such as Dar al-Funun, which had the mission of teaching innovative sciences and crafts, and in Majma-ul-Sana’i, which was established with the aim of training and promoting various industries and techniques. There are scattered reports about the teaching of painting in the mentioned schools, as well as the activities of the first painting teachers, and this scattering has caused some mistakes and contradictions in this matter. The present article has been carried out to clarify some of these ambiguities and resolve contradictions with the descriptive-analytical research method. Data collection has been conducted with a library-documentary method, and the information has been analyzed using inductive reasoning.
By referring to the main documents of the Qajar period, including travelogues, newspapers, diaries, and maps, and then by comparing their information, the difference between the performance of the two Dar al-Funun schools and Majam al-Sana’i and the different approaches to teaching painting in these two institutions becomes clear. Also, the distinction between the activities in the first and second industrial assemblies and the confusion of these two schools with the same name in some sources, which has led to historical mistakes, are discussed. Regarding the first new teachers of painting, according to a large number of modern sources, Mirza Malkam Khan is mentioned as the first teacher of painting. Thus, based on the comparison of historical documents and existing reports, the present essay explains Malkam Khan’s activities. Malkam Khan cannot be considered the first painting teacher in new schools. In this article, after comparing newspaper reports, it was clarified that the intent of teaching Malkam’s painting was to instruct in the principles of drawing geometry and geographical mapping, rather than the fine art of painting. Therefore, attributing the position of the first painting teacher to him is incorrect. On the other hand, the establishment of laws and the provision of national education guidelines and the place of painting education in it, by Malek Khan, also mentioned in the article, shows that Iran’s society teaches painting at high levels of education and under the program. Fazliyeh schools, at a higher level than Tarbiyah schools, have been positioned. In addition, according to the fifth paragraph of the mentioned laws, it was decided that special schools should be established for some techniques, including painting, in each of the three schools (Tarbiyah, Fazliyah, and Aliyah). Another important point was the universalization of education up to the level of high schools, which was achieved through modern schools and removed art learning from the monopoly of private individuals. Finally, the establishment of the Sani-ul-Molk State Painting Gallery provided the opportunity for art education for people of different classes, breaking the government’s monopoly on education. This significance can be viewed as the basis of the State Painting Institute, as well as comparable schools that followed, such as Sanai-e Mustazrafeh. Therefore, it can be said that during the Qajar era, with the entry of modern culture into Iran, the traditional structures were transformed, leading to the need for changes in the education system becoming one of the main concerns. Following the expansion of educational institutions and modern schools in Iran, a kind of decentralization occurred in the field of national education, which caused a plurality of opinions and diversity of approaches in the discussion of education, as the main platform for scientific growth and social innovation.