Rare and Beautiful Antique Ukrainian Rugs
Ukrainian Rugs – The antique rugs from the Ukraine are related to the Savonnerie carpets of Western Europe from France and Spain, or Axminster carpets from England. They share in the same Rococo or Neo-classical tradition of design. Nevertheless, they have a strong local flavor derived from Ukrainian folk art tradition, which emerges in certain floral details and in the darker, richer coloration. In many ways they relate to other reflections of western European carpet design in the East like Bessarabian rugs or the Armenian Karabagh with naturalistic floral patterns.
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During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, trends from France and Russia influenced cultural styles in the Ukraine, Moldova and Eastern European countries near the Carpathian Mountains. In provincial areas and cities, styles changed to favor the opulent look that was popular across Europe. While these Baroque carpets lost some of their formality, they gained subtle features and cultural charm. The artists who designed and wove these carpets contributed a rustic look to their palatial rugs. They maintained the formal flower-filled medallions, lush bouquets and traditional French composition while slightly altering the way these magnificent cabbage roses and colorful floral motifs were drawn. Like the neighboring carpets of Bessarabia and Romania, these elegant motifs take on an angular style and stronger variation in color. They also resemble the angular floral carpets created in the Northern Caucasus near the Russian border.
The style of these charming Ukrainian rugs is more accessible, humble and rustic than the traditional Baroque carpets from France. Regional weavers skillfully traded austere formality for rustic elegance. Carefully composed and elegantly drawn antique Ukrainian carpets have a certain authenticity and a grounded style that is elegant yet never seems prodigal. They easily elevate the style of any room without seeming ostentatious or overly bold. Due to their lush style, formal composition and soft colors, antique Ukrainian rugs have become go-to accessories for many of the top international designers.
Learn About Ukrainian Knotted Pile Carpets
Ukrainian Knotted pile Carpets – Knotted-pile area carpets from Eastern Europe and Russia have for years been referred to as “Ukrainian,” with their flat-woven counterparts being “Bessarabian,” and their precise origins remaining unknown. Carpet production in Russia is believed to have begun under Peter the Great (1682-1725) in the Imperial Tapestry Factory near St. Petersburg.
the European knotted pile carpets and flat woven rugs were woven there during the 18th and 19th centuries most often in the court-favored “French” style. (Please see Sherrill, Sarah B., Carpets and Rugs of Europe and America, New York, 1996, pp. 280-289).
Carpet weaving in Russia flourished during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796) who commissioned carpets for many of her palaces. These carpets often featured a deep brown-black ground and a dense overall floral design, as in the carpet offered here and that from Leeds Castle in Kent sold Sotheby’s London, 16 October 1996, lot 179.
The floral cartouche design and vivid coloring of the present carpet closely resembles Victorian needlepoint carpets that were produced throughout England and Europe, including Russia, in the 19th century, for two examples see Sherrill, ibid., pls. 117 and 299. The trompe-l’oeil draping border of this carpet recalls those found on the earliest Louis XIV Savonnerie carpets, illustrating the continuum of fascination with French style by the Russian nobility.
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