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Type: Thesis
Title: Woven pleasure: continuity and change in Persian carpet making during the Ṣafavīd period
Author: Rajabitanha, Mansoureh
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Architecture and Built Environment
Abstract: Ṣafavīd Iran is widely recognised as the Golden Age of Persian carpet. Experts in the field argue that significant change in carpet design took place towards the end of the 15th century, evident by a move from the geometric cross, star, and rosette designs, to medallions and scrolls. Some scholars consider this change as a “revolution” in carpet design; others contest this proposition. Much debate remains, however, on the nature of change—its provenance as well as its time. Another aspect of this change is the involvement of miniaturists in designing new carpets. This argument, however, opens a new discussion on who carpet designers during the 15th and 16th centuries were. This study aims to document the history of change in Persian carpet design, investigate socio-cultural and artistic contexts, and establish the significance for Iranian society. Although the examination of the “carpet design revolution” argument versus historical evidence in original sources is one of the main aims of this research, the scope of this study is wider than the narrow implications of this examination. The research also aims to examine the chronology of carpet production and development in the 16th and 17th centuries. The circulation and migration of ornamental design played an important role in the similarity of surface decoration in various media in Islamic art. Therefore, this study also aims to show the visual resonance that existed historically between carpet design and other art media, especially architectural decorated surfaces that share similar visual characteristics to carpet patterns. The evolution of Iranian art in the late 13th and early 14th centuries under the Mongols is indebted to Chinese elements, including blossoms, trees and shrubs, clouds and cloudbands, and animals known as “chinoiserie.” This evolution continued during the Tīmūrīd period in the 15th century. Since chinoiserie contributed to the evolution of Persian arts, including carpets that preceded the so-called “revolution” in carpet design, this study also investigates the nature of this change and its impact and determines what aspects of Iranian carpet design were influenced by this movement. Primary and secondary textual and visual sources including contemporary studies are used. Significantly, the study examines primary Persian sources that have not been consulted in existing studies in the field. Although the study is not reliant on visual sources, miniature paintings and illustrations support textual analyses. The study introduces a fresh perspective on Persian carpet history and design, with an emphasis on shared visual sensibility that underscores artistic production in Ṣafavīd Iran.
Advisor: Akkach, Samer
Bowker, Sam
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Architecture and Built Environment, 2020
Keywords: Ṣafavīd carpets
Persian carpet design
carpet design revolution
Provenance: This thesis is currently under Embargo and not available.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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