De la poudre aux yeux
Les stratégies artistiques de légitimation des souverains d’Iran (1722-1750)
When asked to provide his son Nasrallah's genealogy during his marriage to a Mughal princess, Nader Shah replied, “He is the son of the sword, the grandson of the sword, the great-grandson of the sword, and so on for seven generations.” Nader and his successors, emerging from humble backgrounds and ending the prestigious Safavid dynasty's rule in Iran, faced a daunting challenge in legitimizing their rule. Unlike the Safavids, they couldn't rely solely on lineage or religious authority. While military victories played a role in their rise to power, it doesn't explain the enduring changes in Iran during this period. Art, architecture, and material culture became potent instruments in their quest for legitimacy. Palaces, ceremonial displays, and the adoption of Safavid customs conveyed regal status. Simultaneously, the construction and restoration of religious monuments portrayed devotion and highlighted distinctions from Sunni restoration and Turkish influences. Through grand structures, inscriptions, opulence, and generous gifts, rulers like Ashraf, Mahmud, and Nader embedded their legitimacy in the physical landscape, aiming to leave a lasting imprint in people's minds and assert their rightful sovereignty on the world stage.
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