Northwestern Iran or Kurdistan
Cotton (warp and weft), wool (pile); symmetrically knotted pile
H. 223 in. (566.4 cm), W. 95 1/2 in. (242.6 cm)
Gift of William R. Pickering, 1967 (67.156)
The earliest rendition of gardens in Persian carpets date from the sixteenth century and are of a formal character. The Museum's version dates from about 1800 and has been attributed to Kurdistan or northwest Iran. It shows a wide central stream of water intersected by narrower courses, all of them enlivened by fish that, like the water, are highly stylized. The composition as a whole should be read as two repeats of the type called "Four Gardens" (Chahar Bagh). At both ends, the center of each unit is at the crossing of two water courses, marked by a tree-studded island. From it large trees jut out diagonally into the neighboring squares. Beyond these are four more formal units representing an ornamental pool or flowerbeds. Along the wide central water course is a flowery path and smaller ones border the narrow courses. The center of the entire composition is marked by an island without projecting trees.