Continuity and discontinuity in Persian art : a study in Qajarid mural decoration (1785-1925)
This study investigates the continuity and discontinuity of Persian traditional mural
decoration and art, focusesing on the Qajarid period. The study intends to establish
that cultural sources and forces such as religion, language and the socio-political
environment have had an impact on the development and continuity in Persian mural
decoration and art. Continuity and discontinuity of Persian art were parallel with the
continuity and discontinuity of Persian cultural forces the rise and decline of art was
closely associated with the development of national culture.
Persian artistic traditions can be shown in continuity over three millennia was
influenced by external sources, without radical change of direction. Continuity can be
observed until the seventeenth century, to a peak of achievement as remarkable as the
art of the Safavids.
Three main epochs may be seen in Persian culture; the pre-Islamic. Islamic and
contemporary epochs. National culture and art was formed and evolved in antiquity,
and then continued and was enriched by the assimilation of Islamic beliefs during the
next epoch and it finally merged with international styles very slowly during the post-
Safavid epoch due to the strong impact of western culture and art, finally changing
definitively during the Qajarid period. The assimilation of Persian art with European
art led to the sudden decline of Persian art as a self-contained, self- dependent style.