Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Carpet

Date:
19th century
Geography:
Attributed to Caucasus
Medium:
Wool
Dimensions:
Rug: H. 95 1/2 in. (242.6 cm) W. 71 in. (180.3 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Bequest of Joseph V. McMullan, 1973
Accession Number:
1974.149.7
Not on view
Kazaks are typified by large, bold patterning, vibrant colors and frequently, high pile. Here, a most unusual design of hooked swastika forms in alternating staggered rows appears on the familiar red-colored ground. Green lozenge shapes, possibly stylized leaves, form a trellis pattern creating a sense of rhythm and movement.

It is quite unusual to find in a village or nomadic rug a field pattern worked on with such precision.

The blue central figure, enclosing a white rosette, resembles the swastika. Six other units, all close to the edge, have lost one volute. There is a constant suggestion of movement in all these figures emphasized by diagonal leaf forms; finally detached rosettes, identical with those contained in the swastika forms, are placed directly on the field. The arrangement is exceedingly attractive, powerful, yet graceful, with strong colour contrasts. The highly stylized border on a white background provides a perfect foil.

This rug need not bow to many for excellence of rhythm, controlled spacing and balance. Yet freedom of thought on the part of the weaver can readily be discerned in the large number of small floral devices dropped in here and there at the weaver’s whim.

[Arts Council 1972]
Joseph V. McMullan, New York (by 1965–d. 1973; bequeathed to MMA)
"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. 53, p. 45, ill. pl. XVII.

McMullan, Joseph V., and Ernst J. Grube. Islamic Carpets. New York: Near Eastern Art Research Center, 1965. no. 53, pp. 204-205, ill. pl. 53 (color).

McMullan, Joseph V. "Circulated by the Smithsonian Institution 1966–1968." In Rugs from the Joseph V. McMullan Collection. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1966. no. 29, pp. 42-43, ill. p. 43 (b/w).



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