The Wagner Garden Carpet
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection
Cotton warp; wool, cotton and silk weft; wool pile
H: 5309mm, W: 4318mm
Named after a previous early 20th century owner, the Wagner Garden Carpet is a 17th century Persian Kirman pile carpet with a formal garden layout on a dark blue background. It is dominated by two long parallel water channels that are linked by a central pool and two short branch channels, all together forming the shape ‘H’. The garden’s six rectangular sections are vertically symmetrical, with the right side of the carpet mirroring its left.
Resembling a walled park, it is packed with a variety of trees, shrubs and flowering plants amongst which animals, birds, butterflies and moths live. The animals depicted include foxes, deer, onagers, goats, hares, wild boars, lions and leopards; storks, ducks, peacocks and smaller birds. Its waterways meet at a central pool, and are all teeming with fish and ducks.
The layout of the flora and fauna gradually changes direction in the top half of the carpet, creating a panoramic view of the garden for the person sitting on it at the bottom half – a most unusual layout for this type of garden carpet. It almost invokes a heavenly walled menagerie that immerses the person sitting on it in its natural but well-ordered world. Reminding the viewer of its cultural roots, its design was inspired by both the pre-Islamic Persian Paradise and the descriptions of the Garden of Heaven in the Qur’an.
Manufacturing techniques and stylistic analysis
Gifted by Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944
Beattie, May H., Carpets of Central Persia, London: World of Islam Festival Publishing Company Ltd., 1976: 60.
Noorah Al-Gailani "The Wagner Garden Carpet" [db_in_citation_dca] 2019. http://carpets.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?itemId=object;DCA;uk;Mus31;2;en
Prepared by: Noorah Al-Gailani
MWNF Working Number: UK1_002