Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #4 – Oriental Carpets

So here is my second Imagining Islamic Aesthetics post of the week, to compensate last week’s absence of any post. Mind you I have to explain why I post this late, by the end of the week. The reason is that I cannot find myself a proper time to sit down and type on my laptop, going to work in a demanding situation by day and prepping myself for the next day at night. I have some commitments to make by the weekend as well, so time was essentially not in my hands. But now I find a  few moments to post.

For this post I would like to introduce you (briefly, will do a full detail posting about the subject later, as usual) to Oriental Carpets, specifically, Middle-eastern Carpets. These carpets are one of the most fundamental element in Middle eastern homes – walk into an Arab house and you would probably find a carpet, gorgeously detailed with scrollworks or Arabesques, or simple, multicoloured striped rugs. There are quite a number of carpet types available, such as Perisan and Kilim/Kelim.

Picture taken from the Victoria and Albert Museum website. This is the Ardabil Carpet, perhaps the finest example of Islamic Carpet. Dated 946AH/1539AD, this carpet was originally used in a Mosque in Ardabil in Iran, and restored in 1800s. It is very famous and multiple copies were made, including one in Hitler’s office. You can see the Arabesques around the central medallion, with colours that harmoniously play with each other.

Turkmen (a name of a tribe in Turkmenistan) carpet, displaying designs referred to Elephant’s foot and showing the preferred colour – tan and white over a red background.

An Islamic Prayer Rug, made in Anatolia, Turkey in the late 15th Century to early 16th Century. It is one of the famous carpet style to be represented in Renaissance Paintings, showing the westerners interest in Oriental carpets by that time.

Details of a Kilim rug from Anatolia, Turkey. It is dated in the 19th Century. Kilim rugs are predominantly manufactured in Turkey, and recognizable from the usage of geometrical patterns as the motif of the rugs.

An example of Tabriz carpet. Note the motif, clearly inspired by Chinese style. While most carpets are red in colour, some are done in variety of colours, though red is the most preferable, and perhaps traditional.


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