Comparative Study of the Design and Pattern in Prayer Carpets of Safavid and Qajar Periods

Document Type : تاریخ هنر خراسان بزرگ


Since a long time ago, the Iranian carpet has been considered as a manifestation of the Iranian art and civilization and a display of Persian artists’ imaginations and creativity. Prayer design is among the designs originated in an old and ancient tradition which has been particularly considered after Islam. In Iran, prayer design has been woven in different forms and inside the main design has been ornamented in many different manners. The theme in creation of prayer carpets, as a ritual-traditional art, has been always invariant, despite various implementation styles; on the other hand, ornaments and embellishments which are considered as the primary and necessary elements of prayer design have caused the diversity and emergence of various types in this design.
The present research is a descriptive-analytical study and the data have been collected using a library method. According to the results obtained from the present research, it was identified that characteristics of the Safavid prayer carpets have been generally influenced by the art of carpet weaving during this period, and the general framework of the Safavid art of carpet weaving has been preserved. Also, after the Safavid era, during the Qajar period, weaving of prayer carpets was still continued while preserving the general structure of the Safavid prayer carpets. Comparison and contrast of prayer designs during the Safavid and Qajar periods indicate further diversity in supplementary designs, forms, and patters in the context of Qajar prayer carpets. Moreover, during the Qajar dynasty, new naturalistic trends in carpet designing led in emergence of new themes and diverse motifs in Iranian carpets and resulted in a diversity of prayer designs during this era.
Objectives: 1. Identification of Safavid and Qajar prayer carpets and study of their structural elements and motifs.
2. Analyzing and comparing the design structure in prayer carpets of the Safavid and Qajar periods.
Research questions: 1. How are the designs and patterns of prayer carpets during two periods of Safavid and Qajar?
2. Can common and different criteria be defined for Safavid and Qajar prayer carpets in terms of design and pattern?