Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Fragment of a Carpet with Quatrefoil Design

Object Name:
Fragment
Date:
16th–17th century
Geography:
Attributed to Western Turkey, Ushak
Medium:
Wool (warp, weft, and pile); symmetrically knotted pile
Dimensions:
Rug: H. 114 1/2 in. (290.8 cm) W. 60 in. (152.4 cm) D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1972
Accession Number:
1972.80.4
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 459
The star-like medallions that give this type of carpet its name were a design favored by commercial weavers of the Ushak district of western Anatolia. It is a variation of the famous Ushak medallion carpets. Most Ushak carpets are easily recognizable by their characteristic color palette, often limited to a few tones such as rich red, dark blue, and yellow, highlighted with touches of bright white and vibrant green. The inspiration for the infinite repeating pattern of the quatrefoil design are to be found in other media, such as the architectural tilework of the same region, which often features complex interlacing designs. Similar compositions with symmetrically designed floral patterns, based on split-palmettes, stylized lotus and other floral motifs that often fill cartouche-like shapes, are also known from manuscripts and appear on luxurious book bindings and illuminated pages. Such designs not only developed across media in the Ottoman world, but also extended beyond it to Europe. Such carpets were produced for commercial purposes in higher quantities. Specifically during the sixteenth century Ushak was one of the leading production centers for carpets designated for the European market. The large size and refined woven pattern of this example, suggest that it was made in a large town workshop in the Ushak district.
Joseph V. McMullan, New York (by 1965–72; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Islamic Carpets: The Joseph V. McMullan Collection," June 11, 1970–August 2, 1970, no. 37.

"[catalogue of an exhibition held at the] Hayward Gallery, London, 19 October –10 December 1972." In Islamic Carpets from the Joseph V. McMullan Collection. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1972. no. 68, p. 47, ill. pl. XXIV.

McMullan, Joseph V., and Ernst J. Grube. Islamic Carpets. New York: Near Eastern Art Research Center, 1965. no. 68, pp. 232-233, ill. pl. 68 (color).

"The Joseph V. McMullan Collection." In Islamic Carpets. New York, 1970. no. 37.



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