"Bellini" Carpet

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 459

The center of this carpet presents a pointed arch drawn as a triangle that evokes a mihrab, and Islamic prayer niche indicating the direction of Mecca. In the lower part is an octagonal motif thought to be a horseshoe arch, probably introduced to Ottoman art from Nasrid Spain through the emigration of Sephardic Jews beginning in the late fifteenth century. Textiles likes this one have come to be known as "Bellini" carpets, after the Venetian Renaissance artists Giovanni and Gentile Bellini, whose paintings depict similar weavings as floor coverings under the Madonna's feet.

"Bellini" Carpet, Wool (warp, weft, and pile); symmetrically knotted pile

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