Mudejars, or Spanish Muslim craftsmen working for Christian patrons, made this vivid carpet, adopting its design--a field pattern of octagons and diamonds and a border derived from Arabic script--from contemporary Turkish carpets. Several European painters, including Hans Holbein the Younger (about 1497-1543) , depicted such carpets, and their design has become known as "small-pattern Holbein".
Unlike its Turkish models, this carpet is woven with the single warp knot then peculiar to Spain.
Warp, white wool; weft, white wool, four passes between each row of knots; Spanish knots, 20 to a square centimeter. The ground of the main field is dark green; the design of medallions is bright yellow, red, blue, black, green, violet, and white. The ground of the main border is red; the design, in imitation of Kufic (angular Arabic) script, is white, green, black, blue, yellow, and red. The guard borders have designs of medallions, interlaces, and geometric forms.
Small-pattern Holbein carpet
- Spanish (Mudejar), 15th century
- Probably Alcaraz, Spain
- 458.5 x 212.1 cm (180 1/2 x 83 1/2 in.)
- Medium or Technique
- Wool warp, wool weft, wool knotted pile, Spanish knot
- Accession Number
- Not on view