late 18th–early 19th century
Attributed to Northwestern Iran, Sanandaj
Cotton (warp), wool (weft); tapestry-woven
Rug: L. 64 1/2 in. (163.8 cm)
W. 48 1/4 in. (122.5 cm)
Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1970
This tapestry-woven prayer rug is an example of the fine production of Sanandaj, a center in the province of Kurdistan in northwestern Iran. The tapestry technique (kilim) makes it lighter and more fragile than a knotted pile rug, and such objects were often used as decorative wall hangings. The change of colors in the densely patterned rows of flowers enlivens the otherwise simple composition of an arched mihrab, or prayer niche, filled with flowers within and outside the niche.