'Ornamental Lotto' carpet, Wool (warp, weft and pile); symmetrically knotted pile

'Ornamental Lotto' carpet

Object Name:
ca. 1600
Attributed to Turkey
Wool (warp, weft and pile); symmetrically knotted pile
Rug: H. 69 1/4 in. (175.9 cm)
W. 48 3/4 in. (123.8 cm)
Credit Line:
The James F. Ballard Collection, Gift of James F. Ballard, 1922
Accession Number:
Not on view
Carpets displaying this striking design of stylized vegetal arabesques in yellow on a red ground are called "Lotto," after a famous altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Lorenzo Lotto that includes a similar carpet. The motifs of the central surface show additional hooks and curls and render the overall impression more decorative, leading to the name "ornamental Lotto" given to this and similar carpets. The border of this example contains a design of cartouches and rosettes alternating on a deep blue background—a border pattern typical of "Transylvanian" carpets. Turkish in origin, so-called Transylvanian carpets were donated as pious gifts to churches throughout Romania and Hungary.

James F. Ballard, St. Louis, MO (until 1922; gifted to MMA)
Asia Society. "Peasant and Nomadic Rugs of Asia," 1961, no. 1.

Toronto. Aga Khan Museum. "A Thirst for Riches: Carpets from the East in Paintings from the West," June 6–October 18, 2015, no catalogue.

Breck, Joseph, and Frances Morris. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art." In The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1923. no. 37, p. 23, ill. (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. Peasant and Nomad Rugs of Asia. New York: Asia House Gallery, 1961. no. 1, pp. 16, 17, 74, p. 17 (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. 70, pp. 185, 220, ill. fig. 160 (b/w).

Ellis, Charles. Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1988. pp. 37-38.

Denny, Walter B. How to Read Islamic Carpets. New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 64-65, ill. fig. 51 (color).