عنوان مقاله [English]
Manichaean art is one of the rich and influential arts that began in the third century AD at the beginning of the Sassanid rule and continued until several centuries after Islam. Mani and his followers have left very exquisite works of visual arts, the most prominent of which is the art of painting. With an overview of the structural features of Manichaean works reveals symbolic elements that are often repeated in most paintings and have specific meanings. These symbolic elements are: pearl, tree of life, lotus flower, ship, blue sky and halo of light. All these symbolic elements are related to Manichaean religion and are designed for the pure truth of human existence. The purpose of this study is to investigate the symbolic elements in Manichaean paintings and to find out the evolution of the halo of light and to understand its visual similarities. Question of this research: what elements are used in Manichaean painting and what are their meanings? Why did the Manichaean use the halo of light in their paintings and what are the characteristics of this halo of light? In Manichaean paintings, pearls symbolize the saved soul, the tree of life symbolizes life and righteousness, the lotus flower symbolizes purity and transcendence, the ship symbolizes the journey of the soul, the blue sky symbolizes the source of light and the place of gods, and halo symbolizes light and holiness. By examining and analyzing these symbolic elements, we can understand the concepts of Manichaean paintings. Some of the pictorial symbols, such as the lotus flower, the halo of light and the pearl, are seen more in the drawings together, as if they are intertwined. The lotus flower, on which the gods appear sitting or standing with a halo of light, and the pearls, which are sometimes part of motifs inside the halo and sometimes around the gods, seem to complement each other. Therefore, these three elements are related both visually and semantically because all three refer to purity and excellence. Some of these elements alone have specific themes, such as the ship, which has the theme of soul travel. Wrestling is the story of the ways that Manichaean man goes through to reach his ultimate transcendence and salvation. In general, the set of these symbols are common in meaning and concept and refer to the salvation of the human soul and reaching the realm of light and liberation from darkness and gloom. Among these elements, the sacred halo was one of the most important and frequent elements among other symbolic elements, which was located around the head of a heavenly person in Manichaean paintings. The sacred halo has long been used as a manifestation of light and divinity, which In Manichaean painting, in addition to having a sacred and spiritual aspect, is one of the ways to recognize the position and role of Manichean gods. The design, colors, and size of the light halo help us to understand this. In Manichaean art, the halo of light was always depicted in circle but in different sizes, patterns and colors. The halo of light in Manichaean paintings is red, orange, white, brown, blue, green, gold and other colors and there were no restrictions in choosing the color of the halo for them, but the most widely used color in most Manichaean halos it is a golden color that was used both to display light and to decorate their paintings. Also, if there is more golden color in the halo of light, it means that the person holding the halo is more important. The design and color of the halo of light changed according to the position of each person; The more important a person was, the more glorious his halo of light was drawn. The present research has been done by descriptive- analytical method using library resources. The statistical population of this study is five Manichaean paintings that have a sacred halo and are analyzed by deductive method. Reflecting and searching in Manichaean painting, it becomes clear that these paintings have been formed in a reasoned and firm way with a symbolic expression, and the main elements used are influenced by Mani concepts and commands and have an obvious clarity. However, despite the simple appearance of Manichaean painting, symbolic elements open a new meaning to the painting of this period. In the present study, after expressing and looking at Manichaean elements, first Manichaean art and Manichaean living conditions were expressed and it was determined that these elements used were related to Manichaean religion and were used in Manichaean painting for various purposes and not only decorative aspects. As a result, the main purpose of designing these symbolic elements is to show the purity and spirituality of human existence and ways to get rid of darkness and achieve salvation and paradise of light.