Embedded Secrets of Iconography in Bathhouses: Manifestation of the Notion of Purification in the Body of Architecture Based on Literary Iconographies

Document Type : Research Article


1 Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Development, Tabriz Islamic Art University

2 دانشجوی کارشناسی ارشد معماری اسالمی، دانشگاه هنر اسالمی تبریز، دانشکده معماری و شه رسازی، ایران


Problem statement: Purity is one of the postulates that has been continuously employed in Iranian architecture, especially in Bathhouses, and has climaxed over time. This idea is well manifested in the development of iconographies. Bathhouse literary works have created a critical treasure for purification discussions in iconography. The existence of different iconographies of Bathhouses affirms this claim.

Research objective: This study aims to recognize and examine the postulate of purification and its manifestation in iconographies left in Iranian baths.

Research method: The method of this research is descriptive-analytical. Ten samples of iconography from the books Haft Aurang (Jami), Divan Turki (Amir Alishirnavaei), Khamseh (Nezami), Masnavi Mehr-o-Moshtari (Assar Tabrizi), Zafarnameh , Shahnameh (Ferdowsi), and Masnavi Manavi (Rumi) were examined in this research.

Conclusion: The diversity of tools and people shows that details have been employed to better demonstrate the principles of purification. For ease of legibility, the applications of each section are provided. Furthermore, the performance of the components and people bilaterally related to each other and indicating the most commonalities in the works left in the iconographies and the differences in the decorations and details of each iconography was examined. The functional dimension has many similarities with the physical aspect. In paying attention to commonalities, this dimension has applied specific strategies, principles, and patterns and created innovations in demonstrating purification.


Ulman, M. (2004). Islamic medicine (F. Badrahai, Trans.). Tehran: Toos.
Amid, H. (1976). Farhang-e Amid. Tehran: Rah-e Roshd.
Ashtari, M. (2006). Honar-e Miniatur-Sazi va Naghashi-ye Irani [The Art of Iranian Miniature Making and Painting]. Tehran: Gutenberg.
Azhand, Y. (2006). Maktab-e Negargari-ye Esfehan [Isfahan Miniature School of Thought]. Tehran: Academy of Arts.
Belali Oskoui, A. & Zirak Sima, P. (2021). The evolution of bathrooms miniature in structural and decorative aspects in 9th to 11th grade. Negareh, 17(60), 1-24.
Cary Welsh, S. (1976). Persian painting-five royal Safavid manuscripts of the sixteenth century. New York: George Braziller.
Floor, W. & Kleiss, W. (1988). Bathhouses. Retrived from https://iranicaonline.org/articles/bathhouses#pt1
Kiani, M. Y. (2007). Memari-ye Iran (Dowre-ye Eslami) [Iranian Architecture (Islamic Period)]. Tehran: Samt.
Basil, G. R. A. Y., Laurence, B., & Wilkinson, J. V. S. (1931). Persian Miniature Painting. New York, 193.
Mustaghfari, A. (1983). Teb Al-Nabi. Qom: Razi.
Rashid Najafi, A. (2009). Hamam-ha-ye Tarikhi-ye Tabriz [Historical baths of Tabriz]. Tabriz: Fan Azar.
Pirnia, M. K. (1993). Ashna-yi ba Memari-ye Eslami-ye Iran [Introduction to Iranian Islamic Architecture]. (Gh. Memarian, Ed.). Tehran: Iran University of Science and Technology.
Rahimi Mehr, V., Motadayen, H. & Mehrabany, M. (2017). Traditional baths: health protector, treatment agent. Bagh-e Nazar, 14(50), 23- 38.
Rahnavard, Z. (2007). History of Iranian art in the Islamic period miniature. Tehran: Samt.
Ramezanzadeh, P. (2003). Rozane-‘i bar Tahlil-e Negare-ha-ye Harun-Al-Rashid dar Hamam. Jelve-ye Honar, (33), 24-33.
Sabeti, E. (2003). Bathroom Architecture in Iranian Miniature. Ketab-e Mah-e Honar, (63&64), 133-138.
Tabasi, M., Ansari, M., Tavousi, M. & Fakhar Tehrani, F. (2007). Recognition of the Physical Characteristics of Garmabehs in Iran in the Safavid Period. Honar-ha-ye Ziba, (29), 49-58.
Tehrani, F. (2015). Garmabeh paintings: Behavioral culture and architecture of Garmabeh in 9th to 12th AD century lunar paintings. Isfahan: Isfahan Municipality Cultural-Recreational Organization.
Tehrani, F., Pourfathollah, M. & Ghasemi, Z. (2013). A comparative study of how to create architectural spaces in bathroom miniatures. Negareh, (26), 60-71.
Vafaei, Z. (2012). Bath and its role in the popular culture of Azerbaijan. Tabriz: Zeinab (PBUH).