In the Islamic art, each design and pattern has an internal meaning in addition to the theme and superficial beauty – a meaning that represents the conscience and mind and if the viewer goes beyond the superficial beauty, they see the internal elegance. Beauty is internal and beyond the viewer’s mind. Talented artists with spiritual worldview instill a specific feeling into the viewers – a feeling which whispers the flow of entity.
Sky Hunting Carpet
Design: Corner Medallion Designer: Master Isa Bahadori Date of Contribution: 2011 Dimensions: 150x250 cm Knot count: 70 knots in 6.5 cm Dimensions: 150x250 cm Warp material: Silk Woof material: Cotton Pile material: Wool and Silk Contributor: Haj Gholam Reza Safdarzadeh Haghighi Weaver: Woven in the Carpet-weaving Workshop at the College of Fine Arts in Isfahan under the supervision of Master Gholam Ali Safdarzadeh Haghighi
This exquisite carpet has 3 borders: a wide border, two small borders and a background. The background is designed by Corner Medallion design with Sky Hunting theme which includes spiritual and philosophical themes.
If we imagine ourselves in the sky looking down while looking at this design, we can see the stunning human and animal’s hunting scene on the ground designed in the center of the carpet or Medallion with the Animal’s Combat design or Tasheer, which is the raised designs of the Islamic art. A horse rider whose hat looks like those of Safavid periods is busy hunting and having fun and has the central role.
If we imagine ourselves in the sky looking down while looking at this design, we can see the stunning human and animal’s hunting scene on the ground designed in the center of the carpet or Medallion with the Animal’s Combat design or Tasheer, which is the raised designs of the Islamic art. A horse rider whose hat looks like those of Safavid periods is busy hunting and having fun and has the central role
Islamic lines, among these illustrations, are the vicissitudes of life which can be seen as Islamic spirals or clouds and bushes. Next to it, there is another circle visualized with beautiful colorful birds swirling in a rotary way because “circle” is the sign of time and symbol of constant and circular motion of the sky and is representative of the cosmic sky. Circle with its dynamic motion is the indicator of change. In the third circle, there are three hawks swirling around a circle of birds. On the head of the Medallion below, there are two birds captured by an eagle and their heads are downward and since they have been busy with earthly delights, they have fallen to the bottom and are captured by predators.
On the head of the Medallion above, there are four birds under the umbrella of Prosperity Huma bird and these birds are looking upward and thinking about ascent.
In the corners on the upper part of the carpet, the design of Phoenix or Prosperity Huma bird among flowers and “Xeta” leaves has been illustrated.
Two corners at the bottom of the carpet among flowers and “Xeta” leaves can be seen with the Animal’s Combat design/ Tasheer and the prey has its head downward and does not look around to escape and does not see “ascent” and has been captured.
Bird signifies freedom and liberty and the triumph of good over evil, prosperity and good fortune, annunciation of spring, fertility, asking for rain, etc. The carpet enjoys skillful designing and color scheme. The contrast of warm and cool colors dominant over the carpet’s color scheme which intensifies with the contrast between dark and light colors is effective in emphasizing the details of the design.
The first version of the woven carpet using this design is ornamenting Tehran Museum of National Arts in 1975. The second copy of this carpet is kept in Isfahan Museum of Decorative Arts where the late Master taught for several years. The third copy (the re-woven version) was contributed to the Imam Reza (PBUH) Shrine which is now being kept at Carpet and Textile Treasure in Astan Quds Razavi.
The Mankind Carpet
The Carpet of Mankind is an exquisite masterpiece which has summarized the philosophy of life and longevity in form of 3 stages of human life. These triple designs are somehow reflective of the life of mankind (I was naive, I became experienced, I got burned). On the upper head of the Medallion, two weak children have been designed who are standing back to back in order to gain power and get up. The center which is the Medallion of the carpet is youth and becoming experienced.
Young and lively figures are enjoying youthful exuberance and there are two protagonists at the bottom of the Medallion who have reached the end of their lives; they spread-eagled on the ground while leaning against each other. These figures have skillfully been designed and animated with flowers and Xeta leaves.
This carpet lacks corner and enjoys skillful color scheme and design. The contrast of warm and cool colors dominant over the carpet’s color scheme which intensifies with the contrast between dark and light colors is effective in emphasizing the details of the design. There is an inscription woven at the end of the carpet which says: (Isfahan, woven by Gholam Ali Haghighi, designed by Bahadori, 1975) and this also reads in front of it, on the top of the carpet: (dedicated to Holy Astan of Imam Alī ibn Mūsā ar-Riḍā (PBUH)). This carpet is woven and dedicated, in memory of Haj Gholam Ali Safdarzadeh Haghighi, by his son Haj Ghola Reza in 2008.
This carpet is, at least, the third copy of Master Isa Bahadori’s design. The second copy is for sale and is kept in the Museum of National Arts.
Another version of this is in Isfahan Museum of Fine Arts where the late Master Isa Bahadori taught for several years.