A Collection of Oriental and European Carpets and Textiles

ghirlandaio-design rug
bergama area
western anatolia
18th century
211 x 188 cm (611 x 62)

Notes: symmetrically knotted wool pile on a wool foundation
The element that decorates the centre of this rug defines the so-called 'Ghirlandaio' group. This rug type derives its name from the 15th century Italian painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, who depicted a carpet with this motif on a famous painting now in the Uffizi gallery, Florence. This feature is composed of an octagon enclosed within a square compartment and surrounded by four elaborately drawn triangular motifs. These representations are related to muqarnas squinches - architectural forms that support the placement of an octagonal dome onto a square base. The role of the squinch motifs as 'markers' in early Turkish rugs has been discussed elsewhere (A. Levi, Architectural Motifs in Early Turkish Rugs - Domes and Squinches, in 'Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies', Vol. V, part 1, Danville, 1999, pp. 41-46). The centralised design is emphasised by the absence of quartered medallion motifs in the corners. Instead, four imposing triangular devices are used, adorned with protruding animal-head figures of strong tribal character.


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