persian garden

Manuscripts carrying paintings of ancient Persian gardens on view at Berlin State Museum

Persian illuminated manuscripts containing paintings of ancient Iranian gardens are on display in an exhibition at the Berlin State Museum.

persian garden
Persian garden

The exhibition entitled “The Garden as a Place of Refuge” is an accompaniment to the exhibition Iran: Five Millennia of Art and Culture, which will open on Saturday in the German capital.

“Whether it’s garden parties or romance in the park, the dream of retreating to places that are suffused with beautiful memories is no new thing,” the organizers said in a statement.

“Gardens and parks have always been alluring locations. Places where you can enjoy a barbecue with friends, escape the crowds of the city, or relax under the trees or a gazebo and gaze out onto the verdant landscape,” they noted.

“This is particularly true in arid regions like Iran, where cultivated gardens with cooling courses of water and the shade of the trees form idyllic refuges. This social function of gardens, as well as the major significance of the culture of gardening as an independent art form, find rich expression in Persian poetry and illuminated manuscripts,” the statement added.

The special exhibit in the book art cabinet of the Museum fur Islamische Kunst weaves together the culture of the gardens of Iran and the “longing for the countryside” of today’s city-dwellers. Persian illustrated manuscripts demonstrate in intricate detail and vibrant colors the enchantment of gardens.

In this showcase, they are juxtaposed with the promise of freedom of urban garden allotments, holiday shacks, and the altered significance of parks and gardens in the era of the pandemic, the museum said.

The exhibition will run until February 20, 2022.

The exhibition Iran: Five Millennia of Art and Culture will be running until March 20, 2022. Some 360 objects representing the central role that Iran has played as a site of innovation, as a melting pot and cultural powerhouse connecting Africa, Asia and Europe, have been selected to be showcased at the exhibit.