Chinese Guan -Yin reflections in postures and pictorial elements on Herat School ,Timurid Era

Document Type : تاریخ هنر خراسان بزرگ


Iran and China have experienced ancient relations and interactions throughout history. The most important relations have occurred during Ilkhanids, and Timurids. The peak of interactions dates back to the era of Timur's descendants. The pictorial art and its dependent elements have gone through drastic changes as a result of interactions. During that period, Iran was influenced by elements and Chinese patterns. In the study of a portion of such works at Istanbul Topkapi, a Chinese religious character, Guan- Yin, who was worshiped by the Chinese as a deity, is seen throughout the paintings. The main research question is whether or not the works copied from Chinese originals at Topkapi have influenced their contemporary counterparts (15th century) in Herat. And if so, which are the implications and evidence of such an influence in gestures and elements? It is hypothesized that the image of the religious character, Guan- Yin, has influenced the Timurid-era paintings. The aim of this research is to study the sample works performed by Herat school in terms of influence by introducing Guan-Yin and related images. The paper compares some selected works of Herat and existing Chinese examples from Topkapi Collection using descriptive method. The result is that the works at Topkapi, created under the influence of Chinese Guan-Yin, have influenced some instances of Timurid-era paintings, school of Herat, in terms of gestures and elements. Iranian artists have been influenced by the Chinese character in their pictorial only in depicting the figures, without a consideration