Paper Information

Journal:   HONAR-HA-YE-ZIBA   SUMMER 2007 , Volume - , Number 30; Page(s) 99 To 105.
 
Paper: 

SIYAH QALAM STYLE IN PERSIAN PAINTING

 
 
Author(s):  AZHAND Y.*
 
* DEPARTMENT OF GRAPHIC AND PHOTOGRAPHY, SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS, UNIVERSITY OF TEHRAN, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 
Siyah galam, "literally black pen" is a term used by the sixteenth - century Persian writers on painting for line drawing, practiced as an autonomous genre- though none of the painters they mention is credited with preponderant expertise in it. Such line drawing by the early fifteenth century was already highly esteemed, as witness the exquisite marginal ornament of the Divan of Ahmad Jalayer (Baghdad, c.1410). Siyah galam is the signature that appears on a number of leaves in the albums H.2153 and H.2160 in the topkapi sarayi library in Istanbul. The features that characterize the paintings signed siyah galam are also subject to debate, but scholars at least agree that both the signed and the anonymous paintings in H.2152, H.2153, H.2154 and H.2160 can be grouped by specific common stylistic elements, sources for which may be found in all part of Eurasia. The style of siyah galam picture is distinguished by a distinct linearity and a manner of expression strongly influenced by drawing. The powerful and expressive manner of drawing in these pictures probably gave rise to this unusual designation» black pen. Colour in these pictures is subordinated to line and serves only to increase its effect, so that the designation siyah galam is entirely intelligible. The refined sense of line produces a form of modeling which, in the service of a brutal realism, tries to establish well marked plastic and spatial values. The relationships between the Chinese and siyah galam paintings also provide additional data for discussing the problem of the transmission of forms. The study of siyah galam method did much to amplify the history of Persian painting as it could be charted from the illustrated book. The unusual format of the marin paintings allows us to suggest the date function of the diwan paintings. The characteristic style and the often unusual subjects combine with the form to make these paintings seem more typologically isolated than, in fact, they are. The paintings of the Divan are closer to siyah galam form. they were an original response to the late 14th - early 15 century interest in marginal space and the framing of the text all of the margin drawings of Divan, use what would be called the siyah galam method. The paintings are essentially black ink drawings touched by color. The ink was manipulated to create dark or light lines so as to emphasize features while de-emphasizing others. This study aims to revive interest in the siyah galam method in Persian painting by calling attention to selected works of its most talented members in Jalarid, limurid and Safawid period. The article will treat only those works which best represent the siyah galam style in Persian painting.
 
Keyword(s): SIYAH GALAM STYLE, MOHAMMAD, SIYAH GALAM, USTAD ABD AL - HAYY, BRUSH DRAWING, TOPKAPI SARAY MUSEUM ALBUMS
 
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