A long time ago, when Central Asia was ruled by tzars and shahs, on a top of a hill on the bay of the river Zeravshan stood the ancient town of Penjikent. The town was filled with flowers, trees and grapevines. People lived in houses decorated with beautiful wall-paintings. From nice, strong wood people cut figures of animals, like horses and lions, and human beings.
The citizens of Penjikent were the sogdians, the ancestors of tajik people. The town of Penjikent was one of the beautiful towns in ancient Sogd.
Sogdians believed that water was alive and treated it very nicely. They built temples for small streams and other sources of water.
The town was protected by a thick tall wall, because many people around it wanted to get control of Penjikent, due to its comfortable and beautiful houses, its talented people, craftsmen, and artists. However, a day came when despite the thick wall enemies came, and being envious of Penjikent’s success burned the town. All flowers and trees died, the water disappear. The once busy town streets became deserted.
Time past. Around the old town of Penjikent grew another town with the same name, and the ancient streets became busy again. Who is this there right now? Oh, these are historians and archeologists who came to carry out excavations. Our history is precious, and we have to remember our routs and ancestors. We need to know how, when and where people were lived, what they did. This is our history, the history of the world.
The artist from Penjikent.
He was not a regular artist, but a wall-painter, who decorated walls in the houses of Penjikent’s wealthy people. In the summer he drew bright flowers and green trees. In the winter he drew the same flowers, but they came out much brighter.
In the houses of many people from Penjikent beautiful pictures warmed up the guests and all the others. People were very happy to see the incredible masterpieces of a young talented artist and talked a lot about him. It was not long before the name and the talent of the young artist became well-known. One day he was invited to visit the prince of Penjikent. The prince told to the artist:
“I heard a lot about you and your work, and now I want to see what you can do for me and test the truth in the words of the people! I want you to draw, on the walls of the palace, scenes from my life that would show my victories in various wars. You should do that because people can be told about our lives through your paintings, not only in the present time but in the future. It is for better remembrance of our history, for our posterity
For many following years the artist worked on this project, his eyes grew tired and his vision was no longer good enough due to his work that lasted days and nights, nights and days. The brushes grew weaker in his hands as he became older, but he didn’t stop working. He knew that he was working for the future. He understood how important it is to know the history of the ancient world, its people and their way of life, their customs and traditions. He was very realistic in his depictions of all the accessories and equipment of Penjikent, its animals and human beings. He used bright colors, very popular in Central Asia, making his paintings look like precious stones. His painting are a true rainbow of mother nature. Yes, it is true.Now the archeologists, from all over the world, working in Penjikent see how bright the colors still are. The artist’s pictures can be seen in the very famous museum, the Hermitage museum in Sankt-Petersburg in Russia. Many people from all over the world come to visit this incredible museum and look at that brilliant wall-painting from ancient Penjikent. They are still very impressed with the work of the artist from ancient Sogd.