THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FINE ARTS IN ANCIENT TIMES AND MIDDLE AGES

The most ancient models of material culture in the territory of Azerbaijan are from the 8th millennium BCE. Ancient megalith monuments, herdsman stones, dolmens, caves, defense buildings, burial mounds, metallic instruments pottery and jewelry were typical of Azerbaijani households of that period. The national cultural and aesthetical ideations are reflected on rock carvings. The Azikh cave (with a length of 215-220 meters) near the town of Fuzuli proves that Azerbaijan is one of the most ancient dwelling- places of humankind in the world.

Of exceptional importance to serve as examples of ancient models of fine art are the rock carvings in Gobustan, in the Ayichingili and Parichingil Mountains near Zalkha lake in the Kalbadjar region during the Bronze epoch (3rd millennium BCE), and rock carvings into the Gamigaya Mountain in the north of the town of Ordubad.. The rock carvings "Boyukdash", "Kichikdash", "Jingirdagh", and "Shongardagh" portray the lifestyle of ancient peoples, their housing and labor. Dynamic scenes, pictures of people and animals, episodes of hunting, cattle-breeding, farming, and other spheres of life, were perfectly carved into rock. The rock carvings in Gobustan, which are known as pictograms, cover a long historical period from primitive communal order to feudalism.

Decorative models, pictures, raised pictures on pottery and stone, as well as metallic wares and statues occupy an important place among ancient models of fine arts. Some of them, especially round crockery (Shahtakhti village, Nakhichevan AR), two-head deer figures (Dolandar village, Khodjavand region), bronze crockery with pictures of five fantastic animal (Gadabay), golden crescent-shape collar (Ziviyq), a golden basin (Hasangulu hill near the Urmiya lake), ceramic crockery, fond in the plains of Mil and Karabakh, are distinguishing for their delicacy and artistic perfection (VIII-VII centuries B.C.). Different glass wares, found in Mingachevir, Shamakhi, as decorative crockery, bowls, jewelry, show existence of glass production in Azerbijan as well.

Engraving and sculpture patterns were widespread in Albanian (Caucasus) art. Raised pictures of two peacock in the right and left of holy life tree on stone capital in Mingachevir temple (V-VI centuries) is one of the perfect examples of Albanian (Caucasus) sculpture. Plastic forms are spread in artistic metal wares are frequent artistic kinds. Deer, lion, peacock, bud were pictured on silver bowls, bronze water crockery, found Mingachevir, Torpaggala and other places. Bronze and stone pictures of peoples and animals, scenes, related with housing, fire and religious ceremonies predominate in round sculpture patterns of that period. Architecture complexes, palaces, castles, mosques and mausoleums constructed in the ancient historical towns of Azerbaijan as Qabala, Nakhichivan, Shamakhi, Baku, Barda, Gandja, Beylaqan, Tabriz, Maragha and Ardabilda in connection with spreading of Islam sicce VII century. Calligraphy - inscription, ornament, glaze and raised elements were widely used in decorative design of these buildings. Stone engraving examples, geometrical and plant patterns are typical for buildings, belonging to Shirvan-Absheron architecture school, while ornament motives occupy important place on buildings, belonging to Nakhichevan architecture school.

Inscriptions and raised pictures on Shirvansahs' "Bayil castle" or "Sabayil" architecture monument, built in the Baku port in XIII century, played important role in decorative design of building. Human and animal pictures (tiger, camel, horse, bull, bird) were made in deep engraving style along with inscriptions on "Bay?l daslar?" (Bayil stones). "Bayil daslar?" of frieze type represents decorative element of previously onshore prominent architecture monument.

Azerbaijan fine art present unity with decorative applied art in the Middle Ages. Knight shooting clawed bird with arrow was pictured along with plant and geometrical ornaments on ceramic examples in Gandja, Beylaqan and other towns. Azerbaijan renaissance architecture was closely related with Nizami Gandjavi's creation. He create architect, sculptor, mosaic decorators and painter characters (Farhad, Shapur, Simnar) in his poems.