Tajik Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions



Figure 1.-- The painting here comes from the Art Gallery of the Union of Tajik Artist in Dushanbe. It shows a traditionally dressed man and his wife and son out shopping. It looks to have done during the Soviet era. Notice that except for the cap that the boy wears western clothes while his parents wear traditional garments. The artist was a Russian by the name of Ponomarev Anderei.

We do not yet have much information on Tajik art. Painting has not been a major art form in many Islamic societies, because some Muslims believe that people as beings with souls should not be depicted. This believe has not been universal. I believe that this is an issue upon which Islamic scholars differ. Some like the Taliban object to any figurative art. We have noted both Turkish and Persian paintings depicting people. Art historians note distinctive Tajik (Persian) painting dates back to the Seljuk period (11th-13th Century AD), which described as the "Baghdad School". Painting was primarily devoted to decorate manuscripts, especially editions of the Koran. During the Mongol period (1256-1394) paintings was also used to decorate books. Tajikm painting and book illumination declined after the 14th century. Tajik art was primarily expressed through crafts as metalwork, pottery and embroidery all forms creating household objects. Thus Tajik art was essentially devoted to crafts and a range of folk art. We have noted some paintings during the Soviet era, but have limited information about them. Presumably a more relaxed form of Islam was practiced during the Soviet era.

Islamic Art

We do not yet have much information on Tajik art. Painting has not been a major art form in many Islamic societies, because some Muslims believe that people as beings with souls should not be depicted. This believe has not been universal. I believe that this is an issue upon which Islamic scholars differ. Some like the Taliban object to any figurative art. We have noted both Turkish and Persian paintings depicting people.

Tajil Art

Tajiks as a people of Persian origins in Central Asia have been strongly influenced by Persian art forms. Located on the Sil Road, there would have been many inluences, but Islam and the Tajik Persian origins made Persia the most important influence. Art historians note distinctive Tajik (Persian) painting dates back to the Seljuk period (11th-13th Century AD), which described as the "Baghdad School". Painting was primarily devoted to decorate manuscripts, especially editions of the Koran. During the Mongol period (1256-1394) paintings was also used to decorate books. Tajikm painting and book illumination declined after the 14th century. Tajik art was primarily expressed through crafts as metalwork, pottery and embroidery all forms creating household objects. Thus Tajik art was essentially devoted to crafts and a range of folk art. [Gorgāni] We have noted some paintings during the Soviet era, but have limited information about them. Presumably a more relaxed form of Islam was practiced during the Soviet era. Tajik artists seem to have always painted the human form in pictures. I have noted pictures of work done centuries ago. A Tajik scholar presented a slide show on a remote mountain people. These were also made into photographs and were on display. They are moderate thinkers in Tajikistan. In the city art gallery there is a painting of some children playing football I thinlk this painted was done in the late 1970s.

Artists

We have very limited information on individual Tajil artists. In modern Tajikistan it seems to be the Russians that are pursuing painting. This rather complicates the issue as to just what is Tajik art and who is a Tajik artist. Most of the artists and paintings we have found are from the Soviet era.

Sources

Fergusson, William. E-mail message, December 2, 2003.

Gorgāni, Tirdād. "Art of Tajiks in Central Asia" (August 2003).







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Created: September 12, 2003
Last updated: March 25, 2004