Anatolian Rugs in Transylvanian Churches, 1500-1750
exhibition at the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Emirgan, Istanbul
19 April to 19 August 2007


The Miercurea Kilim-Style Arabesque Rug
West Anatolia, 17th century
115 x 155 cm, wool pile on a wool foundation
Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu (Hermanstadt), inv. no. M.1623
Formerly: Evangelical Church, Miercurea (Reussmarkt)


This Arabesque rug is in the angular Kilim style. The first Kilim-style rug appears in a Italian painting in 1538, twenty-two years after the first Anatolian-style example; however, its closed-Kufic border is identical to that found on rugs with the Interlaced-Gul and Cross field design, suggesting that either this border continued in use into the mid-16th century or Arabesque rugs originated in the 15th century and only later reached Italy. The primary border of the Miercurea rug has a highly stylised version of the 'ragged-leaf' pattern depicted in Lorenzo Lotto's Husband and Wife, 1524, in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

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text and images © Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul
and textile-art, London, 2007:
not to be reproduced without permission