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Pictorial Design

Pictorial carpets appeared in Iran at the end of the twelfth century along with developments in various artistic disciplines. After the domination of Islam on Iran, carpet weaving, like other Iranian arts, adapted itself to the Arabs, and non-pictorial designs became popular in Iran because Islam had forbidden pictorial designs. About a century after the arrival of Islam, the people of Iran protested against the oppression of the Arabs and created the preparations for freedom from the Arab rule. At that time, Iranians used every form of art to express protest and confront Arab power, poets were encouraged to write epic stories before Islam. The painters depicted these epic stories on the screens so that they could use any way to express their political goals.

These actions progressed to the point where these images spread to carpet weaving, which was rooted in Iranian life, and carpets with pictorial designs appeared. The 13th and 14th centuries of Hijri are the period of emergence of illustration in Iran. In these two centuries, artists used images from ancient Iranian stories such as “Khosrow & Shirin” and “Leili & Majnoon” in large sizes in their designs.