Author: Azadeh Shahcheraghi/ Translated by: Maryam Qarehgozlou/ Photo by: Diego Delso
The Persian garden is a cultural, historical, and physical phenomenon in Iran. A garden is normally an enclosed area with vegetation, water, and buildings that are blended with the architecture; it creates a nice, safe and peaceful atmosphere for people. The Persian garden provides one’s everyday tangible needs while, at the same time, it is a meaningful abstract. It is like a green oasis in the heart of a desert helping us hear the sound of the universe.
Beyond architecture, it is the Persian carpet that most tangibly represents the garden in the mind of Iranians. It is a garden rather than a carpet, and the garden is the main theme in most Persian carpets. The garden patterns, the links and narrative, as well as the expression of Persian culture are all represented in the carpet.
The image of the garden and its elements are noticeable in practical handicrafts throughout the history of Iran. Textile production (fabrics, clothes, and curtains), embroidery (sermeh embroidery, passementerie, silk embroidery, embroidered coins), illuminated manuscripts, bookbinding, tilework, mosaic, wood carving, inscriptions, metalwork, and calligraphy have always been associated with the representation of gardens and the Persian paradise.
The presence of the garden in Persian literature goes back to olden times but nobody knows what came first: whether first a garden was built and a poet entered and wrote a poem, or perhaps a poet became a gardener and built himself a garden. In Iran, after music, it is Persian poetry in particular that offers the best mental and imagined descriptions of gardens.
Amongst different forms of art that illustrate a garden, the most abstract and imaginative one is music. The garden and music have a conceptual and a physical connection understood as two distict points of view.
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