تاریخ هنر ایران اساسا تاریخی درباری و مردانه است و حامیان و هنرمندانش را مردان تشکیل دادهاند. در این فضای مردسالار اگر هم جایی برای حضور زنان بوده باشد، آثاری است که زن صرفا موضوع آنهاست و به یک معنا جایگاه ابژه را دارد. اما این روند در عهد فتحعلیشاه قاجار و به دست دختران خوشنویس شاه و عدهای از زنان درباری تغییر کرد. زنان دربار قاجار علاوه بر کار هنری، به امر مهم درج نام و نشان خود (رقم) در پای آثار و مکتوباتشان نیز مبادرت ورزیدهاند و از این حیث پیشگام جریانی هستند که تا پیش از این مسبوق به سابقه نبوده است. این پژوهش به روش تاریخی و تحلیلی، و با هدف بازخوانی هویت و شناخت جایگاه مغفول زنان صاحب رقم از دورة فتحعلیشاه تا دورۀ پهلوی انجام گرفته و در پی پاسخ به این پرسشهاست که کیفیت و میزان ترقیم آثار هنری به دست زنان در حوزة خوشنویسی و تصویرگری عصر قاجار تا اوایل دورة پهلوی چه تحولاتی را به خود دیده است؟ و این عمل اساسا چه دلالتهای اجتماعیای در پی داشته است؟ ارزیابی نمونههای موجود گویای آن است که رقمها با گذشت زمان فراگیر شده و به تدریج از انحصار دربار و اعیان بیرون آمده است. این مهم را اصولا باید معلول تحولات سیاسی و اجتماعی، از جمله در آگاهی و مطالبهگری زنان، تحول نظام آموزش و تعدیل مطلقگرایی دانست. عمل ترقیم آثار هنری به دست زنان هنرمند با مفاهیم ضمنی عمدهای همراه بوده که خودآگاهی، تشخص، اعتبار و مالکیت (هویت فردی) از مهمترین آنهاست.
The Status and Identity of Qajar Female Artists in Regard to Their Signatures
(From Fath-Ali Shah’s Reign to Early Pahlavi Era)
Iranian art history is basically dominated by men and the court. This art has mostly been supported by male patrons and artists, and whenever “women” may appear, they merely play a minor role as the theme or subject of works as dancers, lovers, musicians, courtesans, etc. The male signatures affixed to the works are also indicative of such domination and they imply the monopolistic hierarchy of art production in Iran. Meanwhile, scant attention has been devoted to the status of female artists as well as their signatures in their works. Accordingly, this issue requires thoughtful consideration. Despite having suffered shortage in the realms of politics and economy, Qajar era underwent some remarkable social, cultural and artistic development in the 19th century. The Persian art, on the other hand, has been mostly considered courtly and politics-orientated. Therefore, art patrons would play a major role in it. Such patrons were first and foremost the Shah, and after him, courtiers, nobles and aristocrats. They actually provided the artists with welfare and convenience by their patronage. The establishment of Qajar rule in 1785 initiated a period of relative stability in Iran which lasted through the 19th century to 1925. The Qajar era was accordingly the period of art revivalism following the decline of the Safavid dynasty, particularly during the comparatively long reigns of two of its monarchs, Fath-Ali Shah and Naser ad-Din Shah. It was in this period that they saw the stabilization of Iran’s borders to their present limits and maintained a cautious balance in domestic policy and in international relations. Considering the favorable circumstances, the artists could directly or indirectly put their names as well as those of their patrons in their works. This trend continued and underwent a drastic change during the reign of Fath-Ali Shah in his court and in the hands of his artist daughters and other women mostly settles in the Golestan Palace. The Golestan Palace was a vehicle for the expression of Qajar power, as the elaborate rituals of court ceremonial, seasonal festivities, anniversaries and receptions required a suitably impressive architectural and decorative environment. The palace also provided a home for the royal family, accommodation and subsistence for a large entourage, and on a practical level, stimulus for the local economy through employment of artists and skilled craftsmen. It was in such a palace that female artists found opportunity to improve their skills and to create art. They actually initiated a new movement by putting their signatures under or at the end of their works, considered a unique act in its own by that time. In this essay such a trend has been studied besides considering others aspects of women’s art in the Qajar era up to the Pahlavi period in the Kamal-ol-Molk’s school and his female apprentices’ work. The essay presents two main questions: How female signatures have undergone changes during the Qajar era to early Pahlavi period in calligraphy and painting? What does such a trend imply? For this purpose, it’s been tried to restrict the subject matter to those female artists who were merely working in the field of visual and applied arts. The act of putting signatures in the works was another criterion to be considered. On this basis, most of the cultural affairs, including societies of women, charities and civil activities, or sociological evolutions in the realms of politics and revolutionary developments have not been considered here. Poetry and literature were among the cases which were not included in the topic either. In this research, aesthetic evaluation of female artists’ works and the biographies of such artists did not constitute the main subject. However, the key issues of building one’s identity and artistic autonomy, as well as the study of female signatures in different art media, on the other hand, have been basically taken into consideration. An evaluation of the extant cases and works demonstrates that signatures by the female artists, inside and outside the realm of court, have increased over the time as a result of several factors, including the women’s self-consciousness, evolution of educational system and a decline in despotism. The act of adding signatures to the works by such women implied some essential concepts the most significant of which were extending one’s credit, retaining ownership and defining personal identity.
Keywords: Qajar, Female Artists, Signature, Identity.