Type IV Holbein Carpets

Type IV Holbein Carpets

This type constitutes a variation of the large-pattern Type III Holbein carpets with a pattern of large squares, octagons or stars with octagon fillings in the center, and with two small octagons above and below these. This is the first “grouping” to be seen in the art of the Turkish carpet, and thus constitutes a very important innovation. Although at first glance one might attribute this to Mamluke influence, the two carpets in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, İstanbul, have an obvious affinity to the large pattern Type III Holbein carpets. İn the first of these carpets, dating from the beginning of the 16th century, this affinity is clearly visible in the pattern consisting of two large squares placed one above the otherand the two small octagons placed above and below each square. The Turkish character of the carpet is further emphasized by the interlacing Kufic border. The repetition of the group composition in the second carpet points to the principle of infinity which forms a basic feature of Turkish art. These two carpets stand out from among the other examples of this type of carpet in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, İstanbul, in their size and in the vibrant freshness of the coloring. The large central octagon and the border motif consisting of a rendition of Kufic can also be seen in examples of Holbein carpets in the same museum dating from the beginning of the 16th century.

Another carpet dating from the second half of the 17th century has a border conforming to that in Holbein’s “The Ambassadors” while, the pattern of small double medallions above and below the central octagon is derived from the small octagons in the Type I Holbein carpets.

İn another example from the 17th century the large octagon takes the form of a sixteen pointed star, while the small octagons above and below are surrounded by dark blue, light blue and red flora I motif s on a brown ground. The very brightand lovely colors create a very striking and unusual color harmony.

İn a carpet dating from the 18th century the central octagon is enclosed within a star, while the small medallions above and below are arranged in such a way as to form part of an infinite pattern.

İn a 19th century carpet with a red field in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the central octagon is replaced by a large square with a pair of small octagons above and below. An identical specimen is to be found in the McMullan Collection, New York. These have a very close affinity to later period Bergama carpets.

Carpets Depicted in Paintings by Crivelli and Memling

Another group of Anatolian carpets with patterns similar to those to be seen in the Holbein type carpets with large and small octagons is to be found depicted in paintings by Crivelli and Memling, and is thus referred to by the names of these painters.

Apart from the large pattern Type II Holbein carpet depicted by the Italian Renaissance painter Crivelli in his painting “The Annuciation” dated 1486, now in the National Gallery, London, a small carpet can be seen hanging from the balcony over the large arch in the “Annunciation” dated 1482 in the Kulturinstitut, Frankfurt.

An original of these Crivelli carpets is to be found in the half width fragment of a carpet dating from the end of the 15th century in the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest (1.64×60 m). The basic motifconsists of a complex pattern in the form of a sixteen-pointed star produced by brightly colored angular sections on a yellow ground, while other sections are filled with birds and stylized four legged animals reminiscent of early carpets with animal figures. The border displays rows of yellow and red serrated leaves on a deep indigo ground reminiscent of the large pattern Holbeins in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, İstanbul, and of 19th century Bergama carpets (III. 31).

Another two examples of the type of carpet first depicted by the Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli ha ve been published quite recently. One of these consists of a fragment in the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, and the other is a carpet discovered by Professor Nejat Diyarbekirli in the Sivrihisar Mosque.

Besides the main group of small-pattern and large pattern Holbein carpets that began to be exported from Anatolia to Europe on a large scale around the middle of the 15th century, there are also other types of carpets to be seen in paintings by Flemish masters. These are sometimes named after the painter in whose works they appear .

Paintings by the Flemish master Jan van Eyck (1390-1441) depict Turkish carpets with geometric patterns not to be seen in Italian paintings. The carpet beneath the throne in the painting of the Virgin Mary in the Dresden Gallery displays a lozenge pattern composed of octagonal stars connected by bands, and a rosette or star filling in the center of each of the lozenges. The same carpet can be seen depicted in a painting by Van Eyck’s pupil Petrus Christus in the Staedlichen Kunst Institui Frankfurt. An original of this type of carpet to be found in the Mevtana Museum, Konya may be dated to the 17th century.

The carpets depicted in Fiemish paintings of the 15th century display patterns with geometric divisions containing knots or stars or large octagonal stars. The finest examples of carpets of this period are to be found depicted in the last quarter of the century by Gerard David and, more particularly, Hans Memling. Most of these resemble Type III Holbein carpets with the pattern composed of octagons enclosed in squares and in the fillings they contain. Another pattern very often encountered in these carpets is that with the motif known as the Memling gül, with repeated medallions with hooked contours.

As in the case of the “Lotto” carpets, the name Memling is given to this group of carpets depicted in a number of paintings by that painter (1465-1494). These particular carpets are not to be found depicted in any İtalian paintings. An example of this type of carpet with octagons with stepped centers enclosing lozenges with hooked contours arranged side by side and one above the other, is to be found depicted in a painting by Memling in the Hof Museum Gemelde Galerie, Vienna. The carpet spread beneath the throne on which the Virgin Mary is sitting holding the Christ Child in her lap is of this type.

16th and 17th Century Classical Turkish Carpets (Uşak Carpets)