عنوان مقاله [English]
Prior to the formation of the modern government and bureaucracy overseeing the culture and the arts, one should consider the monarchy and the royal patrons as important and fundamental in the support and expansion of the arts as well as the fields of literature and the sciences in Iran.Therefore, it can be said that according to the system of power and rule in the world of Iranian arts, kings and princes support was at the center of the arts, henceforth, their tastes and decisions were considered as influential on the arts of their time. Kings and aristocrats whom had direct influence within the art community of Iran, can be divided into two main groups. One group is “King / Artist” who, apart from ruling and supporting the arts, were also considered artists themselves. Whilst the other group is “King / Art Lover”, whose interest in the arts played an important role to its growth within their time.
This article will focus on the latter, “King / Art Lover,” and how they interacted with artists. The geographical area of this research will focus on what can be called a subset of “Persianate culture”. Which is: any culture influenced by the Persian language and culture, such as regions of Central Asia, the Mughals of India, the kingdom of the Deccan dynasty as well as the Ottomans and beyond. The time frame of this research is also the period of prosperity within the arts of “ Persianate world,” which also extends from the middle of the Ilkhanate dynasty, from the time of Ghazan Khan to the middle of Safavid period. The reason for choosing this time period is the rise of many fields within the arts, especially art related to book decoration, including calligraphy, illumination, and especially miniature painting. An era in which the interest of royal patrons played a decisive role in the prosperity of the arts. Hence, the manner and amount of support of kings and princes was an important factor in artistic developments. In fact, due to the authoritarian structure of the ruling dynasties in Iran, at some point in time only kings and some special princes were able to spend money on art, training and hiring important artists. The paradigm for supporting artists in the courts was mainly defined as a subset of the Royal Libraries. Each of the powerful patrons of the arts attracted artists to their court in various ways, which gave a new look to the Iranian art world. Therefore, the interaction between royal patrons and artists was highly dependent on the motivation and tastes of the royal patrons. In the form of libraries, court patrons recruited artists, commissioned works, gave financial support, and sometimes influenced and associated with the artist. This gave artists advantages that were only possible, due to the close proximity to the monarchy. Job security, welfare, trade union and social prestige, legitimization of art, and even attainment of military and court officials were among the most important achievements and titles for artists whom had close proximity to the court. But on the other hand, the lack of supportive institutions outside the courts, the ruling dictatorial system, as well as the temperament and the vision of art patrons were among main factors that endangered the status of the artists. In many ways, the professional status, and even the life of the artists were subject to the whims and desires of the royal supporters; Therefore, depending on each royal patron and their vision, the work and life of the artists would also be affected. Uprising against the verdict of the supporters could have been forgiven, but it could have also cost the lives of the artists as well. Artists were in some ways the property of kings, and the interaction of kings with artists varied according to the mood of each king. One should also bare in mind that most historical texts of this period are official chronicles written for the kings, making it impossible to fully study the various aspects of the interaction between artists and their court patrons.