Antique Rugs in Paintings Through History
Antique Rugs in Paintings – Art has an uncanny way of touching the different aspects of daily life. And, on the flip side, life has a unique way of influencing art. It’s easy to see that antique rugs and vintage carpets, functional and practical items, often incorporate artful features. Consequently, antique oriental rugs are featured in many works of art.
Although considered by some, as common household items, carpets have traditionally been prized possessions, even by the people who made them. Over the centuries, these common items have worked their way into art, literature and culture.
Take a look at these famous antique rug designs that have appeared in well-known paintings and continue to influence color schemes and decorations in the West.
The greatest concentration of carpets in artwork occurred during the Renaissance. It’s said that the first European art to depict a rug is the Annunziata miracle painting, which was completed by Italian artist Fra Bartolomeo in 1252. The effect of these iconic paintings was so strong that many traditional Anatolian patterns are known for their long association with the artists who painted them.
Hans Memling graciously lends his name to the latch-hook gul depicted in several works. Crivelli and Lotto are associated with elaborate star medallions and Italianate arabesques respectively.
Hans Holbein made great use of elaborate carpets and antique textile patterns in his 16th century painting “The Ambassadors” and his work as the personal painter for Henry VIII, as seen in the Showtime series “The Tudors.”
Antique carpets featured in art aren’t confined to Europe or the Renaissance. India’s rich literary and artistic heritage, which has a multitude of cross-cultural influences, is full of beautiful carpets and textiles. Pictorial tapestries and miniature paintings included in manuscripts between the 16th and 18th centuries frequently featured elaborate rugs decorated with small surface patterns and lush arabesques.
Even lawns and landscapes are decorated in a similar manner, a trend that extended to Europe. In the 20th century, French illustrator George Barbier skillfully incorporated sophisticated surface patterns and Asian fretwork details as background decorations and ornate textiles in his stylish works, which eventually propelled him into the world of fashion.
Paintings record trends. For instance, evolving fashions and moon shawl designs are well-documented in 19th century portraits.
Absorbing the details of modern and historic paintings gives viewers a new way to appreciate the significance of these creations and the exciting way they reveal the style and history of their time.