عنوان مقاله [English]
Every visual element placed in the proper context has the capacity to become a symbolic sign and res tate a general, holis tic, and even universal concept. In literary illus tration, visual signs are considered in two respects: some are borrowed from the literary text while others are made from previous cultural traditions or artis tic creativity, meaning their basis cannot be found in the documented source. Accordingly, the icon of Ros tam in the Qajar Shahnameh by Emad al-Kottab could be a great case s tudy since the visage of Ros tam is illus trated in several gatherings in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh from the well-known s tories to the little-known ones. Referring back to the literary text, the miniature heritage of pas t periods, and s tylis tic features of Qajar paintings could be fruitful in discovering the general and particular signs of the icon of Ros tam. In this regard, the research ques tion was posed as following: Which pictorial signs are more effective in recognizing the figure of Ros tam in the six Qajar miniatures in Emad al-Kottab’s Shahnameh? The hypothesis was that some pictorial signs taken from the literary text have facilitated dis tinguishing him. The purpose was to clarify the effectivity of pictorial signs in iconology and call attention to the forlorn Emad al-Kottab’s Shahnameh. This comparative-his torical s tudy analyzes six Qajar miniatures taken from about forty pictures in Emad al-Kottab’s Shahnameh by comparing the pictorial signs of the icon of Ros tam. The data was collected through documentary research. Moreover, the samples were selected S tratified randomly in order to analyze the images that narrated the s tories which were popular among general public in different levels in addition to depicting the visage of Ros tam in different occasions. The results of the s tudy showed that although the presence of all pictorial signs are effective in recognition of an icon and the improper absence of some affects the presence of others, some pictorial signs are so influential in defining the limits and boundaries of a picture that they become symbolic and can independently represent the whole picture and the absence of which disrupts the recognition of the whole picture. This is to the degree that even the assurance of several other signs would remain ineffective to recover the loss caused by their absence. In fact, it could be argued that some pictorial signs effective in the recognition of Ros tam are inherited from the literary text of Shahnameh despite their persis tence in the Persian pictorial tradition, for ins tance Babr-e Bayan which can be retrieved not only from Persian miniature tradition but also from the documented source. However, other examples such as middle-aged visage, long forked beard, and mos t importantly horned Div helmet have become the mos t significant pictorial signs in recognizing Ros tam through their repetition in Persian pictorial tradition in spite of the fact that there are no equivalents for them in the literary text. This seems in opposition with the firs t hypothesis and points out the significance of the presence of pictorial signs in the collective memory regardless of commitment or non-commitment to the literary source.