Oriental carpets in Renaissance painting  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Carpets of Middle-Eastern origin, either from the Ottoman Empire, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Levant or the Mamluk state of Egypt or Northern Africa, were used as important decorative features in paintings from the 14th century onwards. More depictions of Oriental carpets in Renaissance painting survive than actual carpets produced before the 17th century, so the study of these paintings is important for constructing the history of carpetmaking itself. Such carpets were often integrated into Christian imagery as symbols of luxury and status of Middle-Eastern origin, and together with Pseudo-Kufic script offer an interesting example of the integration of Eastern elements into Renaissance painting and of Islamic influences on Christian art.


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