Art And Culture

Drawings on ‘Kalileh and Demneh’ Tales

Drawings on ‘Kalileh and Demneh’ TalesDrawings on ‘Kalileh and Demneh’ Tales

An exhibition of drawings by veteran artist Mehdi Hosseini is underway at Vista Gallery in Tehran.

In his newest collection titled ‘I Tell This for That’, Hosseini has focused on the tales of the ancient book ‘Kalileh and Demneh’, Honaronline reported.

‘Kalileh and Demneh’ (The Panchatantra) is an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in verse and prose, arranged within a frame story - a story within another story.

The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed around the 3rd century BC, is based on older oral traditions. It is one of the most frequently translated literary works of India and the stories are among the most widely known in the world. There are over 200 different versions known to exist in more than 50 languages.

Through history, from the first version in Indian to its translations to Pahlavi, Arabic and Persian, ‘Kalileh and Demneh’ has always attracted painters and illustrators, so that today there are many illustrated versions at hand.

However, Iranian contemporary artists have paid little attention to the classic literature of the country; as a result works like ‘Kalileh and Demneh’ have not been considered despite its huge capacities of imagery.

With a mixture of drawing and illustration, Hosseini has created scenes from the book, which can tell a story while being a completely independent work of art.

Although his drawings are simple due to use of only black pencil, a trace of Persian classical painting is also seen so that the creations give a feeling of hoary legends.

Born in Kashan, Hosseini, 72, graduated in painting and print making at the Chicago Institute of Art in 1968.

An artist who both draws and paints, he has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Tehran, Isfahan, Gorgan and Qeshm in Iran as well as Chicago, Pennsylvania and New York in the US.

Hosseini has written and translated papers, which have been printed in books and art magazines. He has judged many biennials and given lectures about art in Tehran. He has been teaching for more than 20 years at universities in Iran.

The exhibition will run till January 15 at the gallery located at No. 11, 12th Alley, Miremad St.