عنوان مقاله [English]
Scholars have mainly insisted on the formal geometry of Persian gardens as a fourfold plan. Here I will discuss that this theory does not correspond to the original documents showing the plans of Safavid gardens. Through the study of a treatise written on planting a chaharbagh, we shall see that its layout does not correspond to the plan of a garden with crossing channels, as it is usually sustained, but to a great garden reflecting the whole created world. The idea of the garden as the image of the world in the mazdean thought, re-elaborated in the philosophy of light, suggests that garden studies needs a step beyond its mere layout. The Safavid chronicles, reveal a clear attention towards the undefiled nature in their garden making that has not been sufficiently underlined. We shall see that the essence of the garden is not linked to a specific plan, but rather to the realtion it establishes with the undefiled nature. The poems written in praise of Shah Tahmasb and his gardens in Qazvin reflect the idea of the king and his garden mirroring the creator and the world. The comparison between a drawing by Kaempfer and a miniature depicting shah Tahmasb’s garden in Qazvin leads to the understanding of the garden as encompassing the whole world. The undefiled nature and its view is desired beyond the garden walls. We shall see how the inclusion of undefiled nature, as an essential part of the image of the garden is achieved through different strategies, manifesting an idea of the garden in which the king as the king of the world recreates the image of the world. The hypothesis in this article mentions that the word caharbag does not thus correspond to the plan of a garden divided in four by watercourses, but denotes a great garden.