Iconology of Layla and Majnun Painting Illustrated on Seljuk Pottery

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. candidate in Art Research, Faculty of Art, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Art, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran


Problem Statement: Layla and Majnun is a classic story of love most notably expressed by the great poets. In addition, various scenes of this love story have been painted by Iranian painters. According to researches, the first painting of Layla and Majnun at school illustrated on Seljuk pottery and then repeated in different Iranian schools such as Herat and Shiraz. This paper investigates the structural and conceptual aspects of the scene of Layla and Majnun at school painted on Seljuk pottery. Since, Erwin Panofsky interprets the subject of artworks by studying the literary texts and the thought of a nation during a particular era, this article attempts to answer this question: What is the relationship between the dominant Iranian thought during Seljuk era and the painting of Layla and Majnun at school illustrated on Seljuk pottery?
Purpose: Ahmad Ghazali (d. 520 AH/ 1126 AD) is a prominent Iranian thinker whose view about love had profound effect on Iranian mystical thought in Seljuk era. So, the main purpose of this research is to find out the relationship between Ahmad Ghazali`s thought and the painting of Layla and Majnun at school illustrated on Seljuk pottery.
Research Methodology: The data have been obtained through a documental and librarian method. In this research, information collected through documentary and librarian, historical-analytical method is based on the iconology of Panofsky`s approach.
Result: Visual and conceptual patterns of Layla and Majnun painting illustrated on Seljuk pottery reflect Ahmad Ghazali’s thought about the essence of love, in addition to Nizami poems.


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