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Aziz Art

March 2019

Norooz

Georges Seurat


1-Norooz 11-Georges-Pierre Seurat

Director: Aziz Anzabi Editor : Nafiseh Yaghoubi Translator : Asra Yaghoubi Research: Zohreh Nazari

http://www.aziz-anzabi.com


Norooz


Norooz ( "New Day") is the name of the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian and Kurdish New Year, is celebrated by Iranian peoples worldwide as the beginning of the new year. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East.It marks the first day of the month of Farvardin in the Iranian calendar.

people from diverse ethnic communities and religious backgrounds for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians. Origin Nowruz is partly rooted in the religious tradition of Iranian religions such as Zoroastrianism or even older in tradition of Mitraism because in Mitraism festivals had a Nowruz is the day of the deep linkage with the sun light. The astronomical vernal equinox (or Persian festivals of Yalda (longest northward equinox), which marks night) and Mehregan (autumnal the beginning of the spring in the equinox) and TiregÄ n (longest day) northern hemisphere and usually also had an origin in the Sun god occurs on March 21 or the (Surya). Among other ideas, previous/following day depending Zoroastrianism is the first on where it is observed. The monotheistic religion that moment the sun crosses the emphasizes broad concepts such as celestial equator and equalizes the corresponding work of good night and day is calculated exactly and evil in the world, and the every year and families gather connection of humans to nature. together to observe the rituals. Zoroastrian practices were dominant for much of the history of Although having Persian and ancient Persia (modern day Iran & religious Zoroastrian origins, Western Afghanistan Nowruz has been celebrated by 1


Nowruz is believed to have been Ancient Iran. Due to its antiquity, invented by Zoroaster himself in there exist various foundation Balkh (modern-day Afghanistan), myths for Nowruz in Iranian although there is no clear date of mythology. In the Zoroastrian origin. Since the Achaemenid era tradition, the seven most important the official year has begun with the Zoroastrian festivals are the New Day when the Sun leaves the Gahambars and Nowruz, which zodiac of Pisces and enters the occurs at the spring equinox. zodiacal sign of Aries, signifying the According to Mary Boyce, Spring Equinox. Nowruz is also a “It seems a reasonable surmise that holy day for Sufi Muslims, Nowruz, the holiest of them all, Bektashis, Ismailis, Alawites,Alevis, with deep doctrinal significance, Babis and adherents of the Bahá'í was founded by Zoroaster Faith. himself.Between sunset on the day The term Nowruz in writing first of the 6th Gahanbar and sunrise of appeared in historical Persian Nowruz, Hamaspathmaedaya (later records in the 2nd century CE, but known, in its extended form, as it was also an important day during Frawardinegan) was celebrated. the time of the Achaemenids (c. This and the Gahanbar are the only 550–330 BCE), where kings from festivals named in the surviving text different nations under the Persian of the Avesta. Empire used to bring gifts to the The Shahnameh dates Nowruz as Emperor, also called King of Kings far back to the reign of Jamshid, (Shahanshah), of Persia on Nowruz. who in Zoroastrian texts saved The significance of Nowruz in the mankind from a killer winter that Achaemenid Empire was such that was destined to kill every living the great Persian king creature. The mythical Persian King Cambyses II's appointment as the Jamshid (Yima or Yama of the Indoking of Babylon was legitimized Iranian lore) perhaps symbolizes only after his participation in the the transition of the Indo-Iranians New Year festival from animal hunting to animal History and tradition husbandry and a more settled life The celebration has its roots in in human history


In the Shahnameh and Iranian mythology, he is credited with the foundation of Nowruz. In the Shahnama, Jamshid constructed a throne studded with gems. He had demons raise him above the earth into the heavens; there he sat on his throne like the sun shining in the sky. The world's creatures gathered in wonder about him and scattered jewels around him, and called this day the New Day or No/Now-Ruz. This was the first day of the month of Farvardin (the first month of the Persian calendar). The Persian scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni of the 10th century CE, in his Persian work "Kitab al-Tafhim li Awa'il Sina'at alTanjim" provides a description of the calendar of various nations. Besides the Persian calendar, various festivals of Arabs, Jews, Sabians, Greeks and other nations are mentioned in this book. In the section on the Persian calendar , he mentions Nowruz, Sadeh, Tiregan, Mehregan, the six Gahanbar, Parvardegaan, Bahmanja, Isfandarmazh and several other festivals.

According to him: It is the belief of the Persians that Nowruz marks the first day when the universe started its motion.The Persian historian Abu Saʿīd Gardēzī in his work titled Zayn al-Akhbār under the section of the Zoroastrians festivals mentions Nowruz (among other festivals) and specifically points out that Zoroaster highly emphasized the celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan. History Nowruz in Persia Persepolis all nations staircase. Notice the people from across the Achaemenid Persian Empire bringing gifts. Some scholars have associated the occasion to be either Mehregan or Nowruz. Shah Tahmasp I and Humayun celebrating Nowvruz festival, 16th century, Isfahan, Persia Although it is not clear whether proto-Indo-Iranians celebrated a feast as the first day of the calendar, there are indications that both Iranians and Indians may have observed the beginning of both autumn and spring, related to the harvest and the sowing of seeds, respectively, for the celebration of new year.


Boyce and Grenet explain the Hall, traditions for seasonal festivals were built for the specific purpose and comment: "It is possible that of celebrating Nowruz. Although the splendor of the Babylonian there may be no mention of festivities at this season led the Nowruz in recorded Achaemenid Persians to develop their own inscriptions (see picture),there is a spring festival into an established detailed account by Xenophon of a new year feast, with the name Nowruz celebration taking place in Navasarda 'New Year' (a name Persepolis and the continuity of this which, though first attested festival in the Achaemenid through Middle Persian tradition.in 539 BC the Jews came derivatives, is attributed to the under Persian rule thus exposing Achaemenian period). Since the both groups to each other's communal observations of the customs. According to ancient Iranians appear in general EncyclopÌdia Britannica, the story to have been a seasonal ones, and of Purim as told in the Book of related to agriculture, it is Esther is adapted from a Persian probable, that they traditionally novella about the shrewdness of held festivals in both autumn and harem queens suggesting that spring, to mark the major turning Purim may be a transformation of points of the natural year". the Persian New Year. A specific We have reasons to believe that novella is not identified and the celebration is much older than EncyclopÌdia Britannica itself that date and was surely notes that "no Jewish texts of this celebrated by the people and genre from the Persian period are royalty during the Achaemenid extant, so these new elements can times (555–330 BC). It was, be recognized only inferentially". therefore, a highly auspicious The Encyclopaedia of Religion and occasion for the ancient Iranian Ethics notes that the Purim holiday peoples. It has been suggested is based on a lunar calendar while that the famous Persepolis Nowruz occurs at the spring complex, or at least the palace of equinox (solar calendar). Apadana and the Hundred Columns


The two holidays are therefore Sassanids established their power celebrated on different dates but in West Asia around 300 CE, within a few weeks of each other, Parthians celebrated Nowruz in depending on the year. Both Autumn and 1st of Farvardin began holidays are joyous celebrations. at the Autumn Equinox. During Given their temporal associations, Parthian dynasty the Spring Festival it is possible that the Jews and was Mehragan, a Zoroastrian and Persians of the time may have Iranian festival celebrated in honor shared or adopted similar customs of Mithra. for these holidays. The story of Extensive records on the Purim as told in the Book of Esther celebration of Nowruz appear has been dated anywhere from following the accession of Ardashir 625–465 BC (although the story I of Persia, the founder of the takes place with the Jews under Sassanid dynasty (224–651 CE). the rule of the Achaemenid Under the Sassanid Emperors, Empire and the Jews had come Nowruz was celebrated as the most under Persian rule in 539 BC), important day of the year. Most while Nowruz is thought to have royal traditions of Nowruz such as first been celebrated between royal audiences with the public, 555–330 BC. It remains unclear cash gifts, and the pardoning of which holiday was established prisoners, were established during first. the Sassanian era and persisted Nowruz was the holiday of unchanged until modern times. Arsacid/Parthian dynastic Empires Nowruz, along with Sadeh who ruled Iran (248 BC-224 CE) (celebrated in mid-winter), survived and the other areas ruled by the in society following the Arsacid dynasties outside Parthia introduction of Islam in 650 CE. (such as the Arsacid dynasty of Other celebrations such Gahanbar Armenia and Iberia). There are and Mehragan were eventually specific references to the side-lined or were only followed by celebration of Nowruz during the the Zoroastrians, who carried them. reign of Vologases I (51–78 CE), but It was adopted as the main royal these include no details.Before holiday during the Abbasid period.


In the book Nowruznama drink immortality from the Cup of ("Book of the New Year", which is Jamshid; and keep in solemn trust attributed to Omar Khayyam, the customs of our ancestors, their a well known Persian poet and noble aspirations, fair gestures and mathematician), the exercise of justice and a vivid description of the righteousness. May thy soul celebration in the courts of the flourish; may thy youth be as the Kings of Persia is provided: new-grown grain; may thy horse be “From the era of Kai Khusraw till puissant, victorious; thy sword the days of Yazdegard, last of the bright and deadly against foes; thy pre-Islamic kings of Persia, the hawk swift against its prey; thy royal custom was thus: on the every act straight as the arrow's first day of the New Year, shaft. Go forth from thy rich Now Ruz, the King's first visitor throne, conquer new lands. Honor was the High Mobad of the the craftsman and the sage in equal Zoroastrians, who brought with degree; disdain the acquisition of him as gifts a golden goblet full of wealth. May thy house prosper and wine, a ring, some gold coins, a thy life be long!" fistful of green sprigs of wheat, a Following the demise of the sword, and a bow. In the language Caliphate and the subsequent reof Persia he would then glorify God emergence of Persian dynasties and praise the monarch. This was such as the Samanids and Buyids, the address of the High Mobad to Nowruz was elevated to an even the king : "O Majesty, on this feast more important event. The Buyids of the Equinox, first day of the first revived the ancient traditions of month of the year, seeing that thou Sassanian times and restored many hast freely chosen God and the smaller celebrations that had been Faith of the Ancient ones; may eliminated by the Caliphate. Surush, the Angel-messenger, According to the Syrian historian grant thee wisdom and insight Yaqut al-Hamawi, the Iranian Buyid and sagacity in thy affairs. ruler ʿAżod-od-Dawla (r. 949-83) Live long in praise, be happy and customarily welcomed Nowruz in a fortunate upon thy golden throne, majestic hall,


wherein servants had placed gold and silver plates and vases full of fruit and colorful flowers.The King would sit on the royal throne (masnad), and the court astronomer came forward, kissed the ground, and congratulated him on the arrival of the New Year. The king would then summon musicians and singers, and invited his boon companions. They would gather in their assigned places and enjoy a great festive occasion. Even the Turkic and Mongol invaders did not attempt to abolish Nowruz in favor of any other celebration. Thus, Nowruz remained as the main celebration in the Persian lands by both the officials and the people.


Georges-Pierre Seurat

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Georges-Pierre Seurat 2 December 1859 – 29 March 1891 was a French post-Impressionist artist. He is best known for devising the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism. While less famous than his paintings, his conté crayon drawings have also garnered a great deal of critical appreciation. Seurat's artistic personality was compounded of qualities which are usually supposed to be opposed and incompatible: on the one hand, his extreme and delicate sensibility; on the other, a passion for logical abstraction and an almost mathematical precision of mind. His large-scale work, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884–1886), altered the direction of modern art by initiating Neo-impressionism, and is one of the icons of late 19th-century painting. Family and education Seurat was born on the 2 December 1859 in Paris, at 60 rue de Bondy. The Seurat family moved to 136 boulevard de Magenta in 1862 or 1863. His

father, Antoine Chrysostome Seurat, originally from Champagne, was a former legal official who had become wealthy from speculating in property, and his mother, Ernestine Faivre, was from Paris.Georges had a brother, Émile Augustin, and a sister, MarieBerthe, both older. His father lived in Le Raincy and visited his wife and children once a week at boulevard de Magenta. Georges Seurat first studied art at the École Municipale de Sculpture et Dessin, near his family's home in the boulevard Magenta, which was run by the sculptor Justin Lequien.In 1878 he moved on to the École des Beaux-Arts where he was taught by Henri Lehmann, and followed a conventional academic training, drawing from casts of antique sculpture and copying drawings by old masters.Seurat's studies resulted in a wellconsidered and fertile theory of contrasts: a theory to which all his work was thereafter subjected.His formal artistic education came to an end in November 1879, when he left the École des Beaux-Arts for a year of military service.


After a year at the Brest Military Academy, he returned to Paris where he shared a studio with his friend Aman-Jean, while also renting a small apartment at 16 rue de Chabrol.For the next two years, he worked at mastering the art of monochrome drawing. His first exhibited work, shown at the Salon, of 1883, was a Conté crayon drawing of AmanJean.He also studied the works of Eugène Delacroix carefully, making notes on his use of color. Bathers at Asnières He spent 1883 working on his first major painting—a large canvas titled Bathers at Asnières,a monumental work showing young men relaxing by the Seine in a working-class suburb of Paris. Although influenced in its use of color and light tone by Impressionism, the painting with its smooth, simplified textures and carefully outlined, rather sculptural figures, shows the continuing impact of his neoclassical training; the critic Paul Alexis described it as a "faux Puvis de Chavannes".Seurat also departed from the Impressionist

ideal by preparing for the work with a number of drawings and oil sketches before starting on the canvas in his studio.

Bathers at Asnières was rejected by the Paris Salon, and instead he showed it at the Groupe des Artistes Indépendants in May 1884. Soon, however, disillusioned by the poor organisation of the Indépendants, Seurat and some other artists he had met through the group – including Charles Angrand, Henri-Edmond Cross, Albert Dubois-Pillet and Paul Signac – set up a new organisation, the Société des Artistes Indépendants.Seurat's new ideas on pointillism were to have an especially strong influence on Signac, who subsequently painted in the same idiom.


A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte In summer 1884, Seurat began work on A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The painting shows members of each of the social classes participating in various park activities. The tiny juxtaposed dots of multi-colored paint allow the viewer's eye to blend colors optically, rather than having the colors physically blended on the canvas. It took Seurat two years to complete this 10-foot-wide (3.0 m) painting, much of which he spent in the park sketching in preparation for the work (there are about 60 studies). It is now in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.Seurat made several studies for the large painting including a smaller version, Study for A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884–1885), now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City. The painting was the inspiration for James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's musical Sunday in the Park with George


Later career Seurat concealed his relationship with Madeleine Knobloch (or Madeleine Knoblock, 1868–1903), an artist's model whom he portrayed in his painting Jeune femme se poudrant. In 1889 she moved in with Seurat in his studio on the seventh floor of 128 bis Boulevard de Clichy. When Madeleine became pregnant, the couple moved to a studio at 39 passage de l'Élyséedes-Beaux-Arts (now rue André Antoine). There she gave birth to their son, who was named PierreGeorges, 16 February 1890. Seurat spent the summer of 1890 on the coast at Gravelines, where he painted four canvases including The Channel of Gravelines, Petit Fort Philippe, as well as eight oil panels, and made a few drawings.

Death Seurat died in Paris in his parents' home on 29 March 1891 at the age of 31.The cause of his death is uncertain, and has been variously attributed to a form of meningitis, pneumonia, infectious angina, and

diphtheria. His son died two weeks later from the same disease. His last ambitious work, The Circus, was left unfinished at the time of his death. 30 March 1891 a commemorative service was held in the church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.Seurat was interred 31 March 1891 at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. At the time of Seurat's death, Madeleine was pregnant with a second child who died during or shortly after birth.

Contemporary ideas During the 19th century, scientistwriters such as Michel Eugène Chevreul, Ogden Rood and David Sutter wrote treatises on color, optical effects and perception. They adapted the scientific research of Hermann von Helmholtz and Isaac Newton into a form accessible to laypeople.Artists followed new discoveries in perception with great interest. Chevreul was perhaps the most important influence on artists at the time


his great contribution was producing a color wheel of primary and intermediary hues. Chevreul was a French chemist who restored tapestries. During his restorations he noticed that the only way to restore a section properly was to take into account the influence of the colors around the missing wool; he could not produce the right hue unless he recognized the surrounding dyes. Chevreul discovered that two colors juxtaposed, slightly overlapping or very close together, would have the effect of another color when seen from a distance. The discovery of this phenomenon became the basis for the pointillist technique of the Neoimpressionist painters. Chevreul also realized that the "halo" that one sees after looking at a color is the opposing color (also known as complementary color). For example: After looking at a red object, one may see a cyan echo/halo of the original object. This complementary color (as an example, cyan for red) is due to retinal persistence. Neoimpressionist painters

interested in the interplay of colors made extensive use of complementary colors in their paintings. In his works, Chevreul advised artists to think and paint not just the color of the central object, but to add colors and make appropriate adjustments to achieve a harmony among colors. It seems that the harmony Chevreul wrote about is what Seurat came to call "emotion". It is not clear whether Seurat read all of Chevreul's book on color contrast, published in 1859, but he did copy out several paragraphs from the chapter on painting, and he had read Charles Blanc's Grammaire des arts du dessin (1867),which cites Chevreul's work. Blanc's book was directed at artists and art connoisseurs. Because of color's emotional significance to him, he made explicit recommendations that were close to the theories later adopted by the Neoimpressionists. He said that color should not be based on the "judgment of taste", but rather it should be close to what we experience in reality.


Blanc did not want artists to use equal intensities of color, but to consciously plan and understand the role of each hue in creating a whole. While Chevreul based his theories on Newton's thoughts on the mixing of light, Ogden Rood based his writings on the work of Helmholtz. He analyzed the effects of mixing and juxtaposing material pigments. Rood valued as primary colors red, green, and blue-violet. Like Chevreul, he said that if two colors are placed next to each other, from a distance they look like a third distinctive color. He also pointed out that the juxtaposition of primary hues next to each other would create a far more intense and pleasing color, when perceived by the eye and mind, than the corresponding color made simply by mixing paint. Rood advised artists to be aware of the difference between additive and subtractive qualities of color, since material pigments and optical pigments (light) do not mix

in the same way: Material pigments: Red + Yellow + Blue = Black Optical / Light : Red + Green + Blue = White Seurat was also influenced by Sutter's Phenomena of Vision (1880), in which he wrote that "the laws of harmony can be learned as one learns the laws of harmony and music".[23] He heard lectures in the 1880s by the mathematician Charles Henry at the Sorbonne, who discussed the emotional properties and symbolic meaning of lines and color. There remains controversy over the extent to which Henry's ideas were adopted by Seurat. The language of color Seurat took to heart the color theorists' notion of a scientific approach to painting. He believed that a painter could use color to create harmony and emotion in art in the same way that a musician uses counterpoint and variation to create harmony in music. He theorized that the scientific application of color was like any other natural law,


And he was driven to prove this conjecture. He thought that the knowledge of perception and optical laws could be used to create a new language of art based on its own set of heuristics and he set out to show this language using lines, color intensity and color schema. Seurat called this language Chromoluminarism. In a letter to the writer Maurice Beaubourg in 1890 he wrote: "Art is Harmony. Harmony is the analogy of the contrary and of similar elements of tone, of colour and of line. In tone, lighter against darker. In colour, the complementary, red-green, orange-blue, yellow-violet. In line, those that form a right-angle. The frame is in a harmony that opposes those of the tones, colours and lines of the picture, these aspects are considered according to their dominance and under the influence of light, in gay, calm or sad combinations". Seurat's theories can be summarized as follows: The emotion of gaiety can be achieved by the domination of luminous

hues, by the predominance of warm colors, and by the use of lines directed upward. Calm is achieved through an equivalence/balance of the use of the light and the dark, by the balance of warm and cold colors, and by lines that are horizontal. Sadness is achieved by using dark and cold colors and by lines pointing downward Influence

Where the dialectic nature of Paul CĂŠzanne's work had been greatly influential during the highly expressionistic phase of protoCubism, between 1908 and 1910, the work of Seurat, with its flatter, more linear structures, would capture the attention of the Cubists from 1911.Seurat in his few years of activity, was able, with his observations on irradiation and the effects of contrast, to create afresh without any guiding tradition, to complete an esthetic system with a new technical method perfectly adapted to its expression.


"With the advent of monochromatic Cubism in 1910–1911," writes art historian Robert Herbert, "questions of form displaced color in the artists' attention, and for these Seurat was more relevant. Thanks to several exhibitions, his paintings and drawings were easily seen in Paris, and reproductions of his major compositions circulated widely among the Cubists. The Chahut was called by André Salmon 'one of the great icons of the new devotion', and both it and the Cirque (Circus), Musée d'Orsay, Paris, according to Guillaume Apollinaire, 'almost belong to Synthetic Cubism'." The concept was well established among the French artists that painting could be expressed mathematically, in terms of both color and form; and this mathematical expression resulted in an independent and compelling "objective truth", perhaps more so than the objective truth of the object represented. Indeed, the Neo-Impressionists had succeeded in establishing an objective scientific basis in the domain of color (Seurat addresses both problems in Circus and Dancers). Soon, the Cubists were to do so in both the domain of form and dynamics; Orphism would do so with color too.


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