Talk:Oriental carpets in Renaissance painting

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The article looks fakking brilliant! Well done!! Dr. Blofeld White cat 14:34, 5 May 2009 (UTC)


It's interesting to see yet another way in which Renaissance paintings of scenes set in antiquity actually reflect the time in which they were painted more than they do the time in which they are set. There's nothing in this article to the effect that oriental carpets were produced before about the twelfth century, more than one thousand years too late for Jesus, Mary, et al. Is this suggestion (that they would not have been around then) correct? It might make an interesting observation in the text. --Piledhigheranddeeper (talk) 15:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

The oldest carpet known is from a Scythian burial of I think the 5th century BC, & looks not unlike a more recent tribal/oriental carpet, with animal & geometric motifs, a border etc. Its shown in one of the online links or refs. And there are fragments from Egypt of various dates. A continuous tradition of some sort is postulated, but survivals are exceptional. But enthroned Madonnas are not supposed to represent scenes from the Life of the Virgin but her enthroned in Heaven or at least a timeless transcendent setting. I can't think of any biblical scenes from the Renaissance showing carpets, apart from the Annunciations shown, though there probably are some. Until about the 15th century they were largely shown in contemporary surroundings, except for clothes (sometimes). Johnbod (talk) 15:44, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Those are especially the Late Gothic scenes, rather than Renaissance ones, that are set in contemporaneous settings. In the later fifteenth century (and later in the North) came a new sense of historicism, in which Saint Sebastian is no longer kitted out as the Perfect Knight. Renaissance biblical settings substitute protagonists in timeless robes, shepherds in timeless rags, the Three Kings in generic Oriental splendor, amid settings of timeless classicism or the classical ruins of Nativity settings. A sense was setting in among the sophisticated folk who were in a position to commission paintings of improprieties, the origins of our own sense that the Flight into Egypt in a Buick convertible as somehow improper.
There is also a sublimated undertext of cultural triumphalism in Oriental carpets trod under sacred feet and pseudo-Kufic embroidered hems trailing in the dirt; this must have been noted in some publication that could be quoted (too inflammatory a suggestion to edit in one's own words eh).--Wetman (talk) 22:54, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Hm, I'm not sure! "Iconographic dress" for the main sacred figures at least is a constant both north and south throughout the period, & there is a definite interest in the Middle-Easternness, and Jewishness, of biblical scenes in Early Netherlandish painting, rather more than in Italy, I'd say. But I don't think carpets form much part of this. The Flicr account linked in the article, with literally hundreds of pictures, is maintained by someone who, having re-attributed most early carpets (C15) to Armenian makers, sees them as expressions of solidarity with Eastern Christianity. I'm not persuaded by this myself, nor I think by the opposite argument. The 3 kings draw heavily on the exotic Byzantine delegation to the Council of Florence in 1439, as sketched by Pisanello and others. Johnbod (talk) 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Formatting problems[edit]

Whichever of you has placed these pics is doing it on a screen of comparatively narrow format. You need to look at the article on a wide screen such as a newish laptop. You'll find that the format is a bit of a disaster. Pics that have a fixed position in relation to text get pushed down by other pics. They take the assoc iated text with them, and leave great gaps either in the middle of blocks of text, or else orphan the text from its heading, which is worse.

Basically, you need to format on a wide screen. That way, the formatting on a narrow screen may not be as artistic as you'd like, but it won't be a disaster. At present it is a bit of a widescreen disaster. If you don't sort it out, some radical will come along and reduce them all to uprights, which won't help anybody! Amandajm (talk) 03:31, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Did my edit help? Diff -- I put bigger thumbs in the galleries (the default is a paltry 100px), and image format looks decent on my semi-recent MacBook. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 04:40, 29 August 2010 (UTC)


add article. please

  1. Although Turkish carpets became one of the more coveted trappings of status in Europe, appearing in the backgrounds of many a Renaissance artist such as Giovanni Bellini and Ghirlandaio, the more ornate and sophisticated designs preferred by Europeans were the creation of non-Turkic (mostly Armenian) craftsmen. Today, however, even these stunning pieces are part of the traditional Turkish carpet- weaving lexicon.[1]

  2. Marco Polo spoke, that carpets made by Armenians and Greeks the finest in the world [2]-- (talk) 11:35, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Polo's statement that "the finest carpets are made BY Armenians and Greeks" comes from an older, free English translation of the Travels by Marsden. The Latin text is now included in the article, together with a literal translation. No question there were skilled Armenian and Greek weavers. I am as curious to learn more about their achievements as I am willing to give full credit to these honourable people. However, I believe that the cause is best served by scientific accuracy. This includes correct citations and source verifications. HajjiBaba (talk) 09:46, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Falsification ?[edit]

  • Тагиева, Роя (1989). Азербайджанский ковёр. «Элм». - I have this book. This book is written:

    Ее же мы видим и на широко известном азербайджанском ковре с картины Ганса Мемлинга “Мария с младенцем” илл. 4, табл. ХХХXIV, 19, на тебризских миниатюрах XIV-XV вв. илл. 321, 322. Эта традиция сохранялась в ковровом искусстве Азербайджана до начала ХХ в.

    You do not put a quote from the book, you put it out of site [3]. If I am wrong then give her scan.
  • Лятиф Керимов. Азербайджанский ковёр. Том III. - I downloaded the book from the site of the Azerbaijani Museum. I not found in the book is what you're saying
  • Гулиев М. Азербайджанские ковры на двух полотнах европеиских художников ХV - There are doubts for this source. I doubt that you have it.
  • A few days ago, confirming the information you have added the source in which nothing was said about it[4]. And now you bring obscure sources. To solve the problem, take a picture of the pages of books that you used. If it is not, I will return the previous version of the article. P.S Do you have books written by non Azerbaijani writers?--Lori-m (talk) 21:43, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Do you have any evidence to accuse me of any falsification? In case you do have any at your disposal, please, provide, if not, I will consider your statements as an insult. I have added some new references; besides, I really doubt there is any need of special resources to confirm the authenticity of the information provided as this is the well-known fact of the Azerbaijani, Turkish and Arabian carpets depicted in a number of works by European and Russian artists.
I wonder if you have any resource indicating that a carpet in the "Still Life with a Jug with Flowers" canvas by Hans Memling is of the Armenian origin. At least, one? Please, don’t hesitate to provide it. I have done research and know for sure that on the above-mentioned canvas there was indicated the Azerbaijani identity of the carpet, the fact that it belongs to the Karabakh, Gazakh or Shirvan carpet weaving schools (as their weaves are similar). Your efforts to pose the depicted carpet on the canvas as an Armenian one without giving any credible resources are deemed fraud.

As to the resources, I have given the pages. Check it out. The website you mentioned can also be referred to as they also used those books as resources. --Urek Meniashvili (talk) 11:00, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

I have added a reference and summary to the section "Perception of Oriental carpets during the Renaissance" which introduces an alternative hypothesis for the provenience and interpretation of oriental carpets depicted in Renaissance paintings. IMO, the debate about proveniences and the weavers' ethnicity is often conducted within WP without appropriate referencing, and in the manner of edit wars. The encyclopedic idea is probably served best if alternative, or maybe even contradictory, hypotheses are outlined next to each other. Sorry, the book I'm referring to in my edit is written in German, but it is still in print, fairly up to date, and can be easily accessed by anyone interested. I hope that if we manage to proceed in that way, our cooperation and friendship will increase in parallel to our knowledge. --HajjiBaba (talk) 14:30, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Too many images[edit]

I added a relevant tag, but it was removed. Reduce your browser width to 1024 pixels and see how people with lower resolutions see the article, then perhaps reconsider the number, size and placement of images, and how to present clearly to our users according to MOS:IMAGES. (Hohum @) 17:39, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

You're quite right. I've just created a Commons category "Oriental carpets in Renaissance painting" (admittedly, still needs sorting) comprising all the images shown in this article. So feel free, everyone, to start deleting. --HajjiBaba (talk) 12:04, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Ghirlandaio Carpet[edit]

Detail of Uffizi Madonna & Child The term "Ghirlandaio carpet" was not just made up. Carpets which go by this name are exhibited, e.g., in the MacMullan Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.[1] Carpets of this design can be traced back to the 16th century, as a very similar carpet has been found at Divrigi Mosque HajjiBaba (talk) 06:20, 15 June 2015 (UTC)HajjiBaba

Ok, but the one you have used bears no resemblence to the type the Met describes, & indeed is a Holbein Type I, as the caption says! The one I have added is a bit closer, though I see no octagon. See here. Please rewrite using the correct picture. Johnbod (talk) 15:24, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
  1. ^ "Ghirlandaio Carpet at Met Mus of Art". Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
Thank you very much. I've also come across the James A. Lucas Ghirlandaio. No doubt this relates to Holbein I, but the central medaillon is particular. Will continue working on the section, and I'd welcome your further input. For the time being, I've taken the section back to my sandbox.HajjiBaba (talk) 16:26, 15 June 2015 (UTC)HajjiBaba
Thanks. The new section looks fine. Johnbod (talk) 13:12, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
much appreciated HajjiBaba (talk) 13:18, 18 June 2015 (UTC)HajjiBaba


There seems to be a misunderstanding in this section. Anatolian "animal" carpets are distinct from the Caucasian "dragon" carpets. Both dragon motifs are likely derived from the Chinese, but follow different traditions of stylization. This becomes apparent by direct comparison of the Dragon-and-Phoenix with a Caucasian dragon carpet. Also the Anatolian animal carpets are older than the earliest known Caucasians. I have no information about which ethnic group wove the carpets, so I've kept the attribution to the Armenian weavers. HajjiBaba (talk) 06:49, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes - this is how it was originally. You could go back to that version of the passage as a starting point, or whatever. Johnbod (talk) 11:52, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Okay then: I was unable to gain access to the 1913-1936 First Encyclopedia of Islam used as a reference for the production of the P.-a.-D. rug by Armenian weavers. With all due respect to the great Armenian carpet designers and weavers, which I believe are truly underestimated by research, as yet, however, quoting a book published before 1936 ignores more than 80 years of subsequent research. The most recent (2011) catalogue of the Pergamon Museum[1] very carefully attributes a generic Anatolian provenience, and gives a radiocarbon dating for the PaD rug. No information is available from this catalogue, or from any other literature published between 1936 and today that I am aware of, about the ethnicity or nationality of the weaver. As only a handful of animal carpets have survived, there is not enough material for comparative studies which might support more detailed attributions. From an "encyclopedic" point of view, it would be better to stick to the known facts and amend the text once more information becomes available. HajjiBaba (talk) 08:46, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

The second carpet above is not Armenian. It was made in Azerbaijan. See the source[5]. --Interfase (talk) 21:12, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Azerbaijan now, but then? Johnbod (talk) 04:38, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
1600-1799 is a big range. Not mentioned which state it was then. It may be the territory of some Beylarbeylik within the Safavid empire or some of the Azeri khanates. But we clearly may say that the carpet is from the territory of Azerbaijan as it is mentioned in the museum's website. Also words "Armenian" and "Nagorno-Karabakh" is original research, because there is no any source about that. --Interfase (talk) 05:11, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
Dear Interfase, thank you for providing the link to the V&A website, which gives a lot of valuable information. I wasn't paying attention to this before, but it's actually mentioned in the Commons file information, and I could have known. The site informs us that the rug is a "17th century piece[s] from the southern Caucasus - from Shirvan and Karabagh", and that the weaver is "unknown". Both Shirvan and Nagorno-Karabakh regions are internationally recognised today as belonging to the Republic of Azerbaijan. However, I suppose it is very unlikely that a 17th century carpet weaver had any idea of a modern state border. We may never know the actual ethnicity of the person who made the rug, and obviously modern nation states did not yet exist back then. From an art historical point of view, labelling the Dragon carpet as "Made in Azerbaijan" would thus appear to be historically incorrect. However, carpets are part of the stupendously rich cultural heritage of the Caucasus region, which includes the modern state of Azerbaijan. So a more correct legend of the image would be: "South Caucasian 'Dragon carpet', 17th century. Shirvan or Karabagh, modern Azerbaijan". Pls see my edit in Oriental rug#Galleries. HajjiBaba (talk) 08:22, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Henry VIII vs Edward VI[edit]

Johnbod, thanks for your recent edits, especially for adding the comparison between Henry VIII and his son. Isn't it fascinating to compare the massive, powerful king, standing all by himself, with his boyish successor who needs a throne behind him for support? For Edward, his title "Defender of the Faith" would almost sound ironical, looking at his portrait. Even the carpet seems to be in uproar. HajjiBaba (talk) 17:07, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that's the general conclusion. I'll add a ref when I come across one. The irony of the Pope's title "Defender of the Faith" for Edward is that, unlike his father, he was a strong Protestant whose main contribution in his short reign was to decisively shift the English Church in a Protestant direction. However weak he may look, his legislation was pretty bold, and successful in achieving his aims. Johnbod (talk) 17:20, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Petrus Christus Virgin with Child[edit]

Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures of Petrus Christus's "Virgin and Child" (plus detail). I was going to write about these paintings when I realized the pictures were of poor quality. Will upload better images soon. HajjiBaba (talk) 14:56, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Petrus Christus's painting at the Städel is behind glass, impossible to obtain pictures w/o reflections. At least I was able to obtain a better image of the painted carpet, now uploaded to WM commons and used in the article. From a comparison with Caucasian carpets of the Kuba or Dragon type (as suggested by Yetkin), I don't think the great Turkish scholar's opinion is correct that van Eyck's and P. Christus's carpets are Anatolian forerunners to the 19th century Caucasian designs. But that would be original research. HajjiBaba (talk) 12:53, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
    • ^ Beselin, Anna (2011). Geknüpfte Kunst : Teppiche des Museums für Islamische Kunst. Wolfratshausen: Edition Minerva. pp. 46–47. ISBN 9783938832806.