عنوان مقاله [English]
The focal issue in the current research involves the discussion on the reasons for the absence of landscape depiction in Iranian painting with emphasis on the etymology of the term nature. In Iranian painting unlike western and far eastern examples, never nature and landscapes are the main subjects. Tabi’at (Nature) is an Arabic word bearing various meanings. The scope of the meaning of the word Tabi’at (nature) whether in Persian, Arabic or European languages is so vast and equivocal that in different times, places and discourses it has held wide and diverse meanings. To further clarify the evolutionary meaning of Tabi’at (nature) in the Persian culture and language, at first with a comparative look, the roots of the word was studied in the most comprehensive Persian dictionaries in the recent century such as Nezam, Nafissi, Dehkhoda and the Persian encyclopedia of Mosaheb, Moein, Amid and Sokhan with respect to their historical precedence and secondly its meaning among Islamic scholars and its reflection in Persian poetry. In studying the word Tabi’at (nature) in the Persian language, we realize that not until the last century the said term was synonymous with its English word, but it was perceived as bearing the meaning of essence and substance by literary figures and philosophers. In the post Islam Persian language and its blending with Arabic there is no general term constituting the surrounding world of nature created outside man without his contribution and the word nature with its modern application entered the Iranian language and thoughts in the last century followed by expansion of relations with the west. With that said it can be concluded that since thought is the product of language then one of the main reasons for lack of landscape delineation in Iranian painting results from the absence of the word in the language. On the other hand, with a look at the principles of semiotics and study of the relation between phonology and meaning we understand that the word nature in the Persian language according to Saussure’s theory has a signifier with a long precedence in the Persian literature and philosophy but its signified (meaning) has changed throughout time. In other words, the relation between the ancient signifier and signified has recently received a new meaning for nature synonymous with the surrounding world such as mountains, plains, seas, etc. It can therefore be said that the new meaning that creates a new sign has not been precedent in the Iranian cultural history. Based on this reasoning thinking that Iranian painters would be able to understand the universal and modern concept of nature without a specific lingual signifier is impossible. They unlike their western counterparts were naturally unable to portray the nature that they lacked in their language. This research is conducted by descriptive-analytical method, collection of data through library materials and analysis of the findings by inductive approach.