Isfahan, Iran
Ispahan/Isfahan, under Shah abbas the Great, was the Persian capital and possessed a famous royal carpets factory. The favorite designs, apart from familiar animal patterns and hunting scenes, were the richly decorative ones of the safavid period. Thus the well-known Austrian Emperor’s carpet may have been made in Ispahan. During the reign of Sh...
Ispahan/Isfahan, under Shah abbas the Great, was the Persian capital and possessed a famous royal carpets factory. The favorite designs, apart from familiar animal patterns and hunting scenes, were the richly decorative ones of the safavid period. Thus the well-known Austrian Emperor’s carpet may have been made in Ispahan. During the reign of Shah Abbas, Ispahan was, of course, in close touch with Heart; undoubtedly, Chinese artists also influenced the designs of the royal factory, although it is conceivable that the Chinese emblems which appeared on the carpets of the sixteenth and the early seventeenth centuries-such as banks of clouds, Chintamani, bats, etc- were borrowed by Persian designer from Chinese porcelain. Heart’s influence at Ispahan seems apparent in the motif of the Herati Design and the Herati border which occasionally are traceable in late Ispahan carpets. In addition to this kind of pattern is found a preference for the traditional palmettes, whose origin can be traced to the late classical period. The arabesque, also, which had appeared in the East in the middle ages, was revived in Ispahan, and with it, of course, its components, the forked tendril and the everted calyx. It is uncertain when the court factory ceased production, but it was certainly before the beginning of the eighteenth century.
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