The National Museum of Art of Romania
First half of the 17th century
Silk warp, cotton weft; knotted; asymmetrical wool knot
H: 204cm, W: 137cm; knot density ver. 49/dm; hor. 56/dm; 2,744/dm2
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.
Stylistic analysis; comparison with similar carpets depicted in seventeenth-century paintings
Partial return of the Romanian treasure sent to Russia for safekeeping during the First World War
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.
Mircea Dunca "Carpet" [db_in_citation_dca] 2019. http://carpets.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?itemId=object;DCA;rm;Mus31;2;en
Prepared by: Mircea Dunca
Translation by: Victoria Gheorghita
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: RO1_002