Kings, Heroes and Lovers is a seminal study of an important and significant category of the folk art revealed in the rugs woven by villagers and nomadic tribespeople in Iran. Improvising from the great national epics of love and adventure, often in forms passed down orally through the centuries, the stories and characters are depicted with great imagination and flair.
Most of the rugs date from the 19th and early 20th centuries and the parallels between popular art forms and academic forms of the period are outlined. The importance of European art forms, such as photography and lithography, are also explored.
The study retells classical Persian stories that inspired many of the figures portrayed in these rugs and which may be less familiar to Westerners. Also included are short biographies of the kings, heroes and other characters involved.
The weaving techniques are discussed and technical notes are appended to the colour illustrations.
Paruiz Tanavoli is a sculptor whose works have been shown throughout the world and which are included in numerous private and museum collections in the United States, Europe and Iran.
Tanavoli is passionate about Iranian art and culture with his greatest love being tribal art. He has travelled through the villages and tribal areas of Iran collecting and documenting their textiles.
He has written several books on the subject, including Shahsavan (New York, 1975), Lion Rugs (Basel, 1985),
Gabbeh (Zug, 1990) and Bread and Salt (Tehran, 1991). He has also written numerous articles in international magazines and journals. His work has been reviewed and particularly praised for its first hand information on unknown textiles, especially in the context of its cultural background.
Kings, Heroes and Lovers is the result of Tanavoli’s 20 years of effort to introduce these pictorial carpets which were part of a pictorial evolution which caused great excitement among Iranians in the 19th century when large scale figures were a novelty.
Parviz Tanavoli was born in Tehran and later taught at Tehran University from which he has now retired.
Oriental Rugs • 8 1/2" x 12" • 304 pages
95 color plates • 72 b&w plates • 28 drawings • maps
ISBN 0-905906-86-1 • hardback $75.00