The Relationship between Text and Image in the Works of Mo’in Mosavver

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor of Art department, Art and Architecture School, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran.

2 Ph.D. in َArt Studies, Art University of Isfahan, Isfahan. Iran.


Problem statement: The long affinity between “literature” and “painting” in illuminated manuscripts has had an old and deep effect on the form and structure of Persian Painting. In the middle of the Safavid era, creating single-leaf miniature expanded increasingly. It seems that in this era, the connection and struggle between the medium of painting and literature found a new form; Therefore, examining the works of Mo’in Mosavver, as the last real representative of the Isfahan school of painting, is of great importance in this regard.
Research objective: The purpose of this study is to show how the historical connection between “literature” and “painting” evolved in at the later years of the Isfahan school of painting through a formal and structural evaluation of the relationship between “image” and “text” in the works of Mo’in Mosavver.
Research method: In this study, the paintings of Mo’in Mosavver were examined using an analytical-comparative approach and the findings of this analysis were interpreted with a historical approach in the evolution of Persian painting in the middle of the Safavid era.
Conclusion: The image of the “pregnant moment” in the illuminated manuscripts of Mo’in Mosavver represent a type of “implied temporality” that reminds us of the sequence of verbal narrative actions. also in single-leaf miniature of Mo’in Mosavver, a higher level of homogeneity can be observed between the medium, the content and the method of perception, since, apart from the narration, these works are limited to the arrangement of objects and beautiful figures. The traces of aesthetics deepening based on these works can be recognized in the miniatures of that era. These traces are seen where the number of figures and narrative micro-scripts are reduced in the images of these paintings and the painting focused more on illustrating the “pregnant moment”. As a result, it seems that in Mo’in Mosavver’s works, the connection and struggle between the text and image can be considered as a movement from “text” towards “image”, his movement, which is also seen in the Isfahan school, found more chance for growth and expansion outside the court’s conservative taste to create glorious and elegant illuminated literary manuscripts. This led to the creation of paintings with mimetic and stronger sensory aspects. At the time, this was reflection of a movement towards independence and further separation of the painting medium and from verbal narration.


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