This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Iranian art, as one of the richest world artistic heritage, dates back to thousands years ago portraying natural and historical events from among which the paintings on cave walls could be mentioned. Moreover, the bas-reliefs in Persepolis as well as the matchless tile-work from the Islamic era add to the richness of Iranian art. Art in Iran covers a vast scope of fields an epitome of which is the Iranian carpet enjoying world fame. Below comes an introduction to the unique ones:

Carpet Weaving

Since the distant past, Iranians have been the pioneers in the art of weaving elegant carpets. Dating back to the 5th-century BC, the peerless Pazyryk Carpet was found in the graveyard belonging to one the kings of the Scythian. The patterns on the carpet are reminiscent of the bas-relief of the Achaemenid dynasty and many researchers believe that the current carpet is the same as the ones in the Achaemenid palace, weaving-style wise. What makes Iranian carpet distinct from the others is the elegancy in weaving, variety in drawing and pattern, and natural dying.

Pottery

Pottery is one of the most ancient types of Iranian art and after paintings in caves, it is the oldest type of human art. In Iran, the excavations in a place called “Ganj Darreh”, i.e. Treasure Valley, in Kermanshah province, has reached to the oldest pottery dating back to 8000 BC.
Pottery stands witness to the civilization process and each nation has had specific patterns, signs, symbols, and decorations for their pottery. During the year 5000 BC, geometric patterns appeared on the pottery and after that the potter’s wheel gave way to creating more stylish ones and thanks to the furnaces, more colors were given to them. The first type of glazed pottery was made during the Elamites discovered from the excavations in Tchogha Zanbil. Pottery has undergone a lot of changes and during different ages, various colors and patterns have been applied to it. Museums are replete with unique samples from pre- and Islamic era.

Enamel

Decoration and painting on metals are from among the handicrafts Iranians have excelled at. The evidence refers to the fact that enamel has its roots in Iran in distant past and then opened its way to other countries. Enamel is the art of painting on and decoration of the surface of a metal through melting shining metal colors. Nowadays, the metal which is used for enamel is copper but in the past, gold and silver were used as well. In today’s Iran, Isfahan is the center for enamel works and distinguished masters are actively involved in it.

Inlay

Inlay is the art of decorating the surface of wood with small pieces of metal and bone which are put together in triangular patterns creating well-formed geometric decorations. There is not much evidence from the past on the origin of the inlay works as the main constituents of them are glue and wood which disappear by time. However, in some holy shrines, where the inlay works are well protected, samples are seen which date back to 200 or 300 years ago and Iran is now the center for inlay works across the globe. Although India, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine have masters in doing inlay works, they are not as elegant as the works in Iran are, in other words, the art is Iran specific.
From among the eminent inlay works, the gateway to Charbagh Soltani School in art market, of the Safavid era, and the shrine of Sheikh Safieddin in Ardabil are of notice.

Metal Engraving

Metal engraving is the art of creating engravings on metal objects with special styluses and the hitting of hammers. The objects used for such a purpose were mostly gold and silver but, nowadays, copper and brass are used instead. The art roots in pre-Achaemenid era and during the first millennium BC, metal engraving was of great importance. Nowadays, invaluable engraving works such as the Golden Goblets of Marlik. Matchless works belonging to Achaemenid and Sasanid era have been excavated as well. The unique features of engraving works in form of reliefs on gold and silver of the Sasanid era are the winged animals, head of lion and dragon, different types of flowers and birds, the dancers, music instruments, and fighting and hunting ceremonies. During the next eras, no significant change was seen in the relief types and the patterns are mainly in form of the arabesque, flowers, birds, animals, Isfahan, etc.; however, in the Islamic era the cuneiform was replaced by Islamic scripts and calligraphy. Isfahan has always been the center for metal engraving art.