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

Name of Object:

Prayer rug


Bucharest, Romania

Holding Museum:

The National Museum of Art of Romania


Early 19th century

Type of object:

Prayer rug

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool; knotted; symmetrical knot


H: 174cm, W: 139cm; knot density ver. 39/dm; hor. 27/dm; 1,053/dm2

Period / Dynasty:



Turkey, central Anatolia, Mucur


The rich colour palette and the contrast between the undecorated mihrab field and the borders with intricate geometric motifs, the so-called Crivelli güls, convey a sense of vitality and unsophisticated beauty. The apex of the stepped mihrab echoes the crenellations on the narrow panel above. Identical motifs can be found on earlier carpets, which testify to the persistence of certain patterns over more than two centuries. These motifs, drawn from architecture, appear to have lost their original meaning, much like the columns turned into flower garlands on other 19th-century rugs. Two ewers featured in the spandrels on either side of the pointed top of the mihrab suggest, in all probability, the ritual ablution before prayer.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis

How Object was obtained:

Purchased (art trade)

Selected bibliography:

Dunca, Mircea, Covoare turceşti, secolele XVII–XX, Bucharest: Muzeul Național de Artă al României, 1994: cat. 41.
Dunca, Mircea, De la mihrab la grădina paradisului, Bucharest: Muzeul Național de Artă al României, 2006: cat. 2.
Dunca, Mircea, Islamic Art at the National Museum of Art of Romania, Bucharest: Muzeul Național de Artă al României, 2015: no. 5.
Zigura, Alexandra, Covoare turceşti din colecţia muzeului, Bucharest: Muzeul de Artă al Republicii Socialiste România, 1966: 70–1.

Citation of this web page:

Mircea Dunca "Prayer rug "  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;rm;Mus31;7;en

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

MWNF Working Number: RO1_007