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Paper Information

Journal:   NEGAREH   fall 2018 , Volume 13 , Number 47 ; Page(s) 111 To 129.

Identifying the Semantic-oriented Functions of Stucco Decorations in Chelleh-Khaneh at Khanqah of Bayazid Bastami

Author(s):  Haghighnejad Shabnam*, Maghuli Nadya, Haghayegh Mahdi
* Tabari Institute of Higher Education, Mazandaran Province, Babol, Iran
In Islamic Architecture, building decoration and ornamentation are considered as integrated elements of any buildings. Apparent presence of decorations such as line drawings, vegetative and geometrical designs, composes the secondary nature of Islamic art. Stucco decorations are amongst the decorations of Islamic art and architecture; however this field of art enjoys a rich semantic content and has been used to transmit semantic-oriented messages apart from beauty. Shrine of Bayazid Bastami is one of the historical complexes of Shahroud city, constructed in pre-Seljuk eras and has been renovated and developed within various historical eras. Stucco decorations in Chelleh-Khaneh are composed of geometrical designs that cover the walls, arches and altar. The purpose of this study is to investigate and identify the geometrical designs and decorations of Bayazid Bastami Chelleh-Khaneh, and to answer to the question that what types of motifs and inscriptions are used in the stucco decorations of Chelleh-Khaneh? In what parts of the building and in what forms the semantic functions of these decorations have appeared? Finally, what types of motifs are used in Chelleh-Khaneh? In order to do so, first of all the decorations were photographed on site and then their linear designs were extracted from such photos and were discussed using a descriptive-analytical method. The studies of motifs indicated that mainly the knots have been used in Chelleh-Khaneh stucco designs to decorate and cover the internal area of arcades and walls of the building. The types of rhythms ruling this Chinese knot were predominant regular repetitive rhythms. In examining the designs in these Chinese knots, it is clearly evident that nodes 4, 6, 8 and 21 are most observed, which are based on pair numbers and are merged with vegetative elements (arabesque and khataei patterns) and/or exist simultaneously beside them. This is considered as one of the apparent features of geometrical decorations in stucco altars of the Ilkahnid era. The general motifs were placed in a circularly shaped area and the circular element was dominant. Design of the inscription in Chelleh-Khaneh is the result of combination of a variety of elements and middle decorative knots, words with decorative endings, stalks and vegetative decorations, and various minute decorations have been used in combination and connection to the same area. The Kufic and Thuluth scripts, in combination with the decorations, along with a variety of arabesque and geometrical designs, have given a special beauty to these plasterings. Nevertheless, in the semantic-oriented function of such designs and decorations it was found that there is a coherent relationship between beauty and form with mystical meanings and concepts in this building. In fact, the relationship between non-physical factors such as God's attributes and religious and mystical principles has been well established with physical factors such as form and geometry. The theme of the verses used in the Bayazid Bastami's Chelleh-Khaneh is divided into two categories of "Monotheism" and "Anthropology". The themes of all verses are positive and guiding, and none of them addresses the punishment. Therefore, the themes of the inscribed Qur'anic verses are in accordance with the altar, and the place of its implementation is in direction of faith, guidance and unity of the believers. The contents of the inscriptions of the Bayazid’ s Chelleh-Khaneh have grand mystical basics. The most important forming sources of these basics in the first place are the verses of God in the Holy Qur'an, which is considered to be the most comprehensive program of salvation, and next, the hadith of the great Prophet of Islam (pbuh). Most of the verses and hadiths have certain meanings and interpretations. Arabesque patterns and sacred numbers and inscriptions used in this building are all intended to establish a semantic relationship between the physical and non-physical elements in order to create Islamic mystical concepts to provide the proper conditions for the seclusion seekers.
Keyword(s): Decorations,Stucco,Semantic-oriented Function,Chelleh-Khaneh,Bayazid Bastami,Islamic Architecture
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APA: Copy

Haghighnejad, S., & Maghuli, N., & Haghayegh, M. (2018). Identifying the Semantic-oriented Functions of Stucco Decorations in Chelleh-Khaneh at Khanqah of Bayazid Bastami. NEGAREH, 13(47 ), 111-129.

Vancouver: Copy

Haghighnejad Shabnam, Maghuli Nadya, Haghayegh Mahdi. Identifying the Semantic-oriented Functions of Stucco Decorations in Chelleh-Khaneh at Khanqah of Bayazid Bastami. NEGAREH. 2018 [cited 2021July28];13(47 ):111-129. Available from:

IEEE: Copy

Haghighnejad, S., Maghuli, N., Haghayegh, M., 2018. Identifying the Semantic-oriented Functions of Stucco Decorations in Chelleh-Khaneh at Khanqah of Bayazid Bastami. NEGAREH, [online] 13(47 ), pp.111-129. Available:

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