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Under The Peacock Throne: Carpets, Felts, And Silks In Persian Painting, 1736–1834

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses an aspect of carpet history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, namely, the presence and use of carpets and related floor coverings in royal Persian paintings from the Afsharid (1736-96) and Zand (1760-93) periods, as well as the reigns of the first two Qajar monarchs (1785-1834). Persian painting in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries often depicted royal subjects and scenes at court. A substantial number of textiles are present in these works as elements of furnishing. Relying on historical and artistic evidence, including surviving carpets from the period, the chapter argues that carpets were indeed represented in Persian painting from the post-Safavid period. Furthermore, the evidence presented, demonstrates that in addition to carpets, Persian artists often depicted two particular types of floor covering: felts and silks. The chapter examines the nature and significance of these two types, as well as the impact they had on carpet weaving.

Keywords: carpet; carpet weaving; felts; floor coverings; Persian painting; silks



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