Tehran museum to showcase rarely-seen Persian carpets

March 17, 2023 - 16:45

TEHRAN – A collection of rarely-seen Persian carpets will go on show at the Carpet Museum of Iran in downtown Tehran.

A selection of 40 splendid Persian carpets along with five newly-woven ones will go on view at the exhibition, CHTN reported on Thursday.

According to organizers, the exhibit, titled “From Legend to Authenticity”, will be running from March 20 to April 1.

The event is arranged to commemorate Noruz, the Iranian new year on the one hand, and to encourage folk arts, culture, and domestic production on the other hand.

Experts say that each Persian carpet is a scene that seems timeless, created throughout a year-long process. As a result, Iranian carpets are among the most intricate and labor-intensive handicrafts in the world. Once the weaving is complete, the carpet is cut, cleaned, and left outside to dry in the sun.

The medallion pattern is arguably the most recognizable aspect of all Persian carpets, which are highly sought after on a global scale. In front of a loom, weavers spend several months stringing and knotting countless threads. Some people follow established patterns, while others develop their own.

Throughout history, invaders, politicians, and even enemies have left their impact on Iran’s carpets. As mentioned by Britannica Encyclopedia, little is known about Persian carpet making before the 15th century, when art was already approaching a peak.

For instance, the Mongol invasion of the 13th century depressed Persia’s artistic life, only partially restored by the renaissance under the Mongol Il-Khan dynasty (1256–1353). Although the conquests of Timur (who died in 1405) were in most respects disastrous to Persia, he favored artisans and spared them to work on his great palaces in Samarkand.

Later in the 17th century, there was a growing demand for the production of so many gold-and-silver-threaded carpets that were ultimately exported to Europe. Some were made in Kashan, but many of the finest came from Isfahan. With their high-keyed fresh colors and opulence, they have affinities with European Renaissance and Baroque idioms.

At the end of the 17th century, nomads and town dwellers were still making carpets using dyes developed over centuries, each group maintaining an authentic tradition. Not made for an impatient Western market, these humbler rugs of the “low school” are frequently beautifully designed and are of good material and technique.

The collaborative exhibition of handmade carpets and tableau rugs will be running through May 13.


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