عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
This paper, following a formalist approach, attempts to explain art as a Zeitgeist, or 'spirit of the age'. It is aimed to investigate the enhancement of the painting by Armenian artists of Isfahan on the bases of historical literature and documents left since 17th, 18th and 19th century, as well as the available secondary sources tries to examine the Iranian–Armenian community's achievements in art, frescoes, and painted curtains of 17th century in Julfa of Isfahan, as a part of Safavid capital, across the banks of the Zayande Rud which was constructed especially for the Armenians who were brought to Iran through forced migration by Shah Abbas between 1604 and 1905.
The achievements of the Iranian–Armenian community in the arts were spectacular. The transitional period from manuscript illumination to canvas painting, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, has not been adequately studied by the art historians. Frescoes, painted altar curtains, ceramics, and canvas paintings are still preserved in churches and the homes of the wealthy in New Julfa. During this period, a transition took place from conventional medieval forms to new realistic forms and means of expression.
Along with miniatures and murals, other new forms and genres of art developed: easel painting, portraiture, life scenes from the daily experiences of ordinary people, and landscape painting. Artists whose names have survived include Minas, a legendary painter of New Julfa in Iran, and Ter Stepanos, also from New Julfa, responsible for manuscript illuminations from the mid-17th century and large paintings in the Cathedral of New Julfa.
The wealthy merchants, artisans, and elites in general in the Iranian–Armenian community were the main consumers of this new type of art. No longer did painters require the patronage of the king, noblemen or clergy. The merchants of New Julfa and other cities in Iran eventually had to give way to newer representatives of capital. Iranian–Armenians never ceased to be agents of modernization in Iran, especially in the sphere of fine arts. In architecture, music, theatre, and other artistic fields Iranian–Armenians were always part of the vanguard. Their high level of urbanization, increased international contacts, integration in the wider Iranian society, and ethnic ties with other Armenian communities, made them ideally suited to that role.