نوع مقاله : مقالۀ پژوهشی
عنوان مقاله [English]
The Spanish monk Beatus wrote The Commentary on the Apocalypse in the 8th century. This work became famous as Beatus de Liebana. Afterwards, many different copies and illustrations of the Beatus of Liebana were published. These copies are all known as Beatus.
Beatus are amongst the masterpieces which are well-known for their perfect beauty, color qualities and the artistic way they illustrated the metaphysical world. Some of these copies are affected by Sassanid arts.
Research questions are:
1) Which of Sassanid motifs have affected Beatus artworks?
2) How have these Sassanid works been moved to Spain art workshops?
Hypothesis: There are four images typical to Sassanid artworks which exist in Beatus. They are: 1) Sassanid Simurgh 2) The eagle hunting the gazelle 3) Sassanid royal ribbon 4) The mounted shooters going back to work.
Research background: There is no research done about this subject until today. A comparative methodology is applied in this research.
The book Beatus was widely appreciated in Spain in the 10th century. Many calques, with so many miniatures, were drawn copying this work. It seems that all the illustrated copies have followed a single model and style in a way that it is deemed that only one artist has created such fantastic combinations loyal to the Visigoth (Pentateuque Ashburnham) tradition and style. The oldest version was accomplished certainly before 930 AD, signed by Magius. To illustrate The Commentary on the Apocalypse, it seems that Magius was inspired by Byzantine and Visigoth miniatures. Beatus of Saint-Gerone is another version of Beatus in 965 AD which innovated a new artistic style informing of Roman art rhythm and style.
Muslim countries of the Mediterranean coast had a major role to play in transferring the Sassanid motifs to the Spanish workshops during the early years after the advent of Islam. Countries such as Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Morocco, which were Spain’s neighbors and had constant contact with the Muslims, were facilitating access for Spanish artists to the Sassanid artistic works such as silver utensils, seals and exquisite fabrics, etc.
A great number of silk cloths with Sassanid style designs entered West through trading sacred objects during the crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries. Such designs were particularly seen in precious clothes which were used to wrap the bones of the saints. The Persian cloths were very renowned during the Sassanid era and were widely traded by merchants between Mediterranean countries. Today, several European cathedrals still keep the precious Sassanid cloths in their treasures. They were mostly applied for wrapping the saints’ sacred objects and were also used as model patterns for Byzantine artists.
The metallurgy of the early Byzantine era has also tracks of close relation with Iranian art and the metallurgy of Balkans has much more eastern features. For instance, the famous treasure of Nagi of Saint Mikelos which was discovered in eastern Hungary contains Sassanid features. Supposedly, there were close relationships between Bulgarians and the Sassanids and it is improbable that some part of patterns and details of the Sassanid designs and patterns were brought to Eastern Rome by Bulgarians.
The brocades of Sassanid era are very famous and are imitated by other countries. The design and patterns of Persian cloths had a great impact on the Roman cloths for centuries. The Mozac cloth which the fifth Constantine, Byzantine Emperor, has bestowed upon Mozac bishop has Persian patterns. By studying the artworks and considering the principle of symmetry, it is revealed that the art of the European middle ages emperor was highly influenced by the Sassanid art for a long time.
Few civilizations can have such impact on the most distant parts of the world. The footprints of the Sassanid art and style effectively spread over the east and west of the ancient world, from the old Chinese earthenware of the T’ang dynasty to the friezes of transoms of the Quintanilla Visigoth abbey in Las Vinas of Spain, which illustrate the imaginary and supernatural animals inspired from the Sassanid art. In the first years of the Muslims’ invasion of Spain, the Arabs resided in the buildings of Visigoths, not only for official affairs, but also for applying them as sacred places for prayer and worship.
Western artists have certainly had direct or indirect access to Sassanid artworks. The effective role of Hispano-Muslims in transferring the Islamic culture and art from Islam countries such as Iran to Andalusia and southern Europe is obvious.
In addition to the designs, which are visually and conceptually rich and of prime quality, the materials and containers presenting the images and designs were very expensive and rare. They were made by gold, silver, silk, etc. The preciousness of the materials caused their illustrated images seem more voluble. Therefore, the images found more applications due to their values. This was particularly evident when they were appeared over the exquisite fabrics such as shroud or coffin as well as religious manuscripts such as Beatus de Liebana.