The Influence of European Arts on Bagh-e-Golestan: The Qajarid Garden

By Sedigheh Golshan.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Garden of Golestan is part of the Palace of Qajarid Dynasty located inside the Tehran Royal Citadel –Arg, specifically to the southeast of the Citadel. A historical survey of the Garden shows that its landscape has been gradually influenced by European features. The influence of the European arts can be seen through the various palaces which were consequently built around the Garden.This article is based on the results of the author’s research on the historical development of the Tehran Royal Citadel. The discussion begins with the Zandyyeh Dynasty in 1759, prior to Qajars, and continues to the last decade of Nasserad-Din Shah of Qajar in 1896. The evolution of the Garden demonstrates the classical principles upon which its initial rectangular layout was created and continues through the first decade of the Nasseri period in 1858 when Bagh-e-Golestan was completed and shaped as a quadrangle. Due to the closer relationship between Iran and Europe during the Nasseri period, from 1848 to 1896, the Garden was influenced by the modernizing effects of Europe. Therefore, the influence of European arts is discussed and evaluated specifically with regard to the Bagh-e-Golestan in the five decades since the Nasseriperiod. The paper discusses the architectural significance of the Garden, its layout, and its landscape.The article compares the first Garden, characterized by its paradise-like connotations and formerly-popular layout, with its later innovative design. The Garden’s significant features have been directly influenced by changes in its inhabitants’ taste and manner. It is remarkable that the innovative architectural features that appeared in the Garden evolved to complement the historic setting of the time and to reflect Iranian taste at this period. However, in this period, the Iranian-Islamic landscape of the Royal Garden was transformed into a more European landscape. Nevertheless, the Garden preserved its pleasant significance and resemblance to paradise.

Keywords: Garden, Qajar, Golestan, European Art

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.377-414. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 13.424MB).

Sedigheh Golshan

Lecturer, Department of Architectural History and Conservation, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

I am a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran, where I received my M.Sc. in Architecture in 1975. I continued my studies in the field of conservation of monuments and sites by focusing on historical cities. I received an M.Sc. in Environmental Conservation from Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1978. I have worked on projects involving the conservation of the historic parts of cities, and since 1989, I have been a faculty member in the Department of History and Environmental Conservation at Shahid Beheshti University, School of Architecture and Urban Planning. I have also been a guest lecturer at the University of Tehran. I have taught courses on the history of Islamic architecture in Iran and on conservation theory for historic cities. My research interests focus on the Qajar Architecture, the history of the Royal Arg of Tehran, and the history of the congregational mosque of Yazd. I have published several articles in Iran and have also presented my articles in related seminars. I have also published a few articles in a Canadian magazine.


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