"Lotto" Carpet, 16th century
Wool (warp, weft, and pile); symmetrically knotted pile; L. 85 1/2 in. (217.2 cm), W. 51 1/4 in. (130.2 cm), Wt. 19 lbs. (8.6 kg) with cradle
Rogers Fund, 1908 (08.167.1)
The earliest carpets of the "Lotto" group—so named because a carpet very similar to this one was portrayed in a famous sixteenth-century altarpiece by the Italian painter Lorenzo Lotto—show the characteristic yellow arabesque on a red ground, and employ a border such as this one, based on angular kufic Arabic script, in which the outer side is "open" with finial-like forms. Later sixteenth-century examples have simplified borders, often with a geometric interface; by the seventeenth century, cartouche borders became common.