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Photograph: Costin Miroi, Marius Preda,  © Muzeul Naţional de Artă al României

Name of Object:



Bucharest, Romania

Holding Museum:

The National Museum of Art of Romania


First half of the 17th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Silk warp, cotton weft; knotted; asymmetrical wool knot


H: 204cm, W: 137cm; knot density ver. 49/dm; hor. 56/dm; 2,744/dm2

Period / Dynasty:



Central Iran, Isfahan


The highly elaborate design of the red central field features richly coloured motifs – palmettes, lotus blossoms, scrolls and Chinese cloudbands – rigorously ordered along an axis of symmetry. Many such carpets, dating from the late 16th or 17th century can still be found in Europe. In what concerns the Romanian Principalities, 17th-century documents, notably those related to the Movilă princes, mention hundreds of Iranian carpets, thus attesting to their popularity in this part of the world as in the rest of Europe. In all likelihood, this carpet, unique in Romania, has come from a Moldavian monastery, to which it was donated by a rich boyar or by the voivode himself. The use of silk warp could be indicative of a royal workshop. The carpet is comparatively small, but it is precisely its size and its surprisingly well-preserved pile that make it a rare and valuable work of art.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis; comparison with similar carpets depicted in seventeenth-century paintings

How Object was obtained:

Partial return of the Romanian treasure sent to Russia for safekeeping during the First World War

Selected bibliography:

Dunca, Mircea, De la mihrab la grădina paradisului, Bucharest: Muzeul Naţional de Artă al României, 2006: cat. 21.
Dunca, Mircea, “Persian Art in Romania before World War I”, in Yuka Kadoi and Ivan Szánto (eds.), The Shaping of Persian Art: Collections and Interpretations of the Art of Islamic Iran and Central Asia, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013: 32.
Dunca, Mircea, Islamic Art at the National Museum of Art of Romania, Bucharest: Muzeul Naţional de Artă al României, 2015: no. 2.

Citation of this web page:

Mircea Dunca "Carpet"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;rm;Mus31;2;en

Prepared by: Mircea Dunca
Translation by: Victoria Gheorghita
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: RO1_002

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