"Portuguese" Carpet with Maritime Scenes

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462

This is one of a group of unusual carpets, long referred to as "Portuguese" carpets because of the European figures in Portuguese dress that appear in them. In the center of the field are five concentric lozenge‑shaped medallions decorated with flowering vines. The maritime scene in each corner contains ships manned by Europeans. In addition, fish, a wide‑mouthed sea monster, and a small half‑submerged nude human figure, which is probably a merman, swim in the water. The exact source and meaning of the scene are unknown.

"Portuguese" Carpet with Maritime Scenes, Cotton (warp, weft, and pile); wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile

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