Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragment of a Garden Carpet

Object Name:
18th century
Attributed to Northwestern Iran or Kurdistan
Cotton (warp, and weft); Wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
L. 109 in. (276.9 cm) W. 170 in. (431.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
Accession Number:
Not on view
The design of this carpet is based on the classic Persian garden plan as seen from above. In many parts of the Islamic world, gardens take the form of four gardens separated by four narrow canals—symbolizing the four rivers of paradise—and joined in the center by a decorative fountain. Here, canals are lined with green cypress trees, flowers, and shrubs, and throughout the carpet are flowering plants and trees populated by colorful birds, all creating a scene evocative of a garden paradise. The earliest known garden carpet dates from around 1622–32 and is the likely prototype for subsequent examples, like this one.
Theodore M. Davis, New York (by 1910–d. 1915; bequeathed to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Early Oriental Rugs," November 1, 1910–January 15, 1911, no. 46.

Valentiner, William Reinhold. Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Early Oriental Rugs. New York: Gilliss Press, 1910. no. 46, pp. 54-55, ill. pl. 46 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 46, pp. 85, 113, ill. fig. 117 (b/w).

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