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The Art of Persia

Really good new series

Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
18-Jun-2020 10:29 Message #4784002
Its by Samira Ahmed and is on BBC 4 we watched it the other nightand it was really good to see a proper documentary, that didn't keep recapping and expected the viewer to have a longer attention span than a gnat. It was really beautifully shot, it captured the vastness of some of the buildings and statues without resorting to CGI, if anyones interested in art, history and ancient cultures leading on to modern cultures then this is a series to watch.
Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire
18-Jun-2020 11:17 Message #4784014
Thanks for the reminder wonderoushen, I'd seen it advertised and planned to watch it, then promptly forgot; I'll check out when it's on, it sounded really interesting and like you, it's nice to see something that doesn't treat us like gnats.
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
18-Jun-2020 13:28 Message #4784036
Thanks for reminding me. I really fancy watching but I've been painting or travelling past couple days.
Female
leogirl  Female  Essex
18-Jun-2020 13:44 Message #4784041
I wanted to see this series too. It will be interesting . thanks for reminding

leogirl.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
18-Jun-2020 14:54 Message #4784048
Already taping the series of this.

Persia (Iran) is how the middle east used to be (before Saudi's silicone valley and bombed out Iraq ad Syria!) It is fantastically rich in art and architecture, also poetry, science, etc. And cave art going back 5000 years.

Looking forward to that.
Spam.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
18-Jun-2020 22:46 Message #4784082
Not Everest was it? Nepal has to have some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. And good peaks for beginners. Not that I've done any of them. Just the view is stunning.
Male
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire
19-Jun-2020 13:07 Message #4784121
Interesting subject and very well filmed. This what the BBC should be doing more of.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
19-Jun-2020 18:50 Message #4784142
I agree and not just the BBC either, but other channels too, I get fed up with documentaries that are really interesting until the first ad break when they spend the first few minutes of the next section recapping, by the end section they've maybe said or shown one new bit of information. I think this documentary shows that people do have an hour long attention span and don't need constant recapping and breaks.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
21-Jun-2020 16:58 Message #4784341
Somewhat disappointing. I think I have come away from Ep. 1 knowing more about the history of Persia, than it's art. The kings/queens and dynasties and their conquerors and vastness of their empire and conquests of surrounding land, Babylon, etc., seemed to dominate more than Persia's priceless and unique artefacts.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
21-Jun-2020 18:53 Message #4784349
I did notice the alck of art, but found the rest so fascinating and beautiful to watch that I didn't care. I did get the impression that it was more about the art of being Persia, than about the art itself. I do like a historical context to a lot of this stuff though.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
21-Jun-2020 20:10 Message #4784360
Well I must admit the history was very interesting. And seen from an interesting perspective, the Persians were not so admiring of the Greeks or Romans, or Alexander the Great, to raze to the ground Persepolis would be sacrilege today.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
22-Jun-2020 10:03 Message #4784400
So much of our history is seen though a lens of classicism that we forget there were other cultures which just as much or more history, who were just as interesting and influential as the Greeks and Romans. Even now ancient Egypt is studied in isolation and not in the context of its place in the ancient world, it had a huge influence on the Greeks and Romans long before Alxander the Great came along or Augustus. It seems that once you cross the Bospherous history become other, strange and less important, depsite it being the cradle of civilisation.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
22-Jun-2020 12:49 Message #4784418
History is vast and is divided into two main sections. Prehistory & History. Subdivisions cover stone, ancient, middle, modern, contemporary. If you want to do history you have an excellent choice.

I find contemporary most interesting. Which officially starts from the French revolution to present day.

Includes mases of interesting stuff. urope and its vast and changing empires, the Hapsburgs with their Austrian empire, Europe's greatest empire. The Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna really awesome, visit it if you haven't already.

Contemporary history also includes the discovery of America, the British industrial revolution, the power struggles and conquests by the west, who just happened, really, to be in the right place at the right time, ie luck and a series of events which gave them the advantage over other equally strong and age old dynastic civilizations. Plus I think our success is due to democracy, but which one is beginning to be sceptical enduring. I think if we lose democracy we will lose predominance in the world. If we start to want supreme power, we will be finished.

Ok this is rather a long post.

Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
22-Jun-2020 19:06 Message #4784470
Nope, you start at about the point my eyes start to glaze over, for me anything from about the Tudors/Stuarts backwards and I'm happy, although I admit to finding the Greeks and Romans hard going. The Greeks are all Greek to me and the Romans just get everywhere and muck up the earlier stuff, in prehistory/archaelogical circles its know as LRM, late Roman muck, its a bit like the way the Victorians made medieval buildings more Gothic to conform what they thought it should of been rather than what it was.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
22-Jun-2020 21:11 Message #4784476
Well I know the feeling. Brit. politics for me is the point where concentration is just not possible. Brit. so called constitution and its myriad of parliamentary acts, and common law, going back to 1688 and Britain's emergence as a constitutional monarchy, with magna carta forced on King John and its 'liberties of England'.

Since then it seems to have followed the same …. medieval path! No proper written constitution to set out its fundamental laws, and rights of the people, but a democracy seemingly based on past Acts of parliament, historical documents and conventions, instances where you can go back to some ancient ruling, which can overturn a modern precedent. It might need to modernise. Drolling away in the House, which somehow never seems straightforward, but vaguely euphemistic, it's not surprising some backbenchers are found asleep. However, it was the first of its kind.

Roman history I imagine is challenging, like Latin. It's difficult. Same with Greek. I am not a fan of the Roman empire.

Couldn't find the phrase LRM anywhere. Neo-gothic, I think you can always tell the difference, as in fake!
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
23-Jun-2020 11:31 Message #4784532
LRM is a phrase thats used almost like a dirty swear word among pre-historians and archaeologists among themselves as they don't want to upset thier classicist colleagues, it all gets a bit like Monty Pythons Life of Brian, with 'what have the Romans ever done for us?'
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
23-Jun-2020 12:44 Message #4784547
Thanks for the heads up. I plan to catch up on iplayer.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
23-Jun-2020 21:29 Message #4784593
Right. They say LRM (late roman muck) if they don't want to upset their classicist colleagues. That makes sense. Wonder what they say if they do want to upset them.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
24-Jun-2020 10:22 Message #4784623
They say it out loud and not between themselves. Its often a bit of a problem in university depts, classicists look down on those who study other ancient cultures and often try and marginalise them within a dept.

I enjoyed the latest episode, I guess one of the reasons its less arty than many of us expected is because we tend to think of art as paintings, and particularly portraiture, whereas in an Islamic world art is more literature and the mosaic work and caligraphy. The emphasis on caligraphy surprised me, as its something I associate with China and Japan in particular, although of course Persia encompassed parts of Western China and there was trade along the SIlk Roads. Do we in the West see writing as more utilitarian and not artistic? Is that because of our alphabet, or that we think of language differently?
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
24-Jun-2020 12:16 Message #4784635
Fine art, classicists, history of art even are often seen as a specialist area of art. Even private art galleries, you feel the difference when you step inside, compared to contemporary. Like anything, in old England, Claridges compared to Weatherspoons! or even The Hilton compared to Claridges. One is a little bohemian (Claridges); it has a large portrait of Wallis Simpson (keeps the royals out) the other is a la grande (Hilton).

Haven't seen the 2nd ep. yet. Portraiture is probably specialist. Art I would say covers every aspect of art, including theatre. But yes paintings, sculpture, are most associated with it and have the famous names.

I did calligraphy at school. It is artistic, I enjoyed it. It's more decorative than ordinary writing. Manuscripts and scrolls used calligraphy. Islamic art, mmm .. is always impressive I think. Caligraphy takes longer to inscribe than ordinary writing, and has a special pen, which is shaped, to get the thicker or thinner side of lettering etc., it is slower to do and involves concentration and there are rules for the lettering, so it wouldn't be practical for everyday writing. I think we see writing as a means to an end.
Female
leogirl  Female  Essex
26-Jun-2020 14:43 Message #4784846
I found the historical part of the programme most interesting. Without this introduction I could not have looked at Persian art in the same way . The Islamic religion as part of the Persian art is only a small part of the total story.
I agree, a programme like this should not be broken up by brain-numbing adverts .

leogirl.
Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire
26-Jun-2020 21:11 Message #4784877
Samira Ahmed always reminds me of a lass I used to go out with, even the names are similar and they are both as beautiful - sorry, am lowering the tone of the thread.

I managed to get to watch an episode, don't know if it was the first or not? for me it was interesting seeing how no matter who invaded and ruled, the essence of the people stayed generally intact; then when they started talking of the Rubiyats and the poets I was surprised to see the monuments built to remember them.
When a youngster, we had an old bloke who was a calligrapher, we all used to watch him write and were mesmerised by the skill and patience, so watching the bloke teaching the calligraphy class was interesting, and nice to see young people learning the art, though I did wonder why it was all women learning.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
30-Jun-2020 10:14 Message #4785205
Maybe education is segregated and Samira Ahmed had to film a womens group? Or maybe more women are taking it up?

One of the things I did notice was the way that everyone who conquered Persia tied themselves into its foundations myths and history, I was wondering what our equivalents are? Do we have any foundations myths that hold any sort of national power? Do we have any hero tales? I would of said King Arthur was both a foundation myth and a hero, but many people are more interested in his historical reality than what the stories are tryiing to tell us and I'm amazed that so many people have never heard of him.

Have we got so caught up in true or untrue that we've lost the ability to learn from stories and appreciate them for presenting human dilemas played out on an often grand scale?
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
30-Jun-2020 11:27 Message #4785215
Watched ep. 2 yesterday evening. The Arabs conquered Persia! I had no idea. And brought Islam to the country. But they didn't last and Persia went back to its roots. The same roots it has now, which the dear old Americans have been trying to sub-plant! Fortunately for the Persians, their country is too large.

Some of the old towns/villages were fascinating, I can just imagine the people of the time in the streets and alleyways, made of some kind of sandstone not brick. Much of the middle east was like that even in the 50s. I used to go 'home' on school holidays when my father worked out there and the contrast of the desert from the Kent countryside was a different planet!!


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