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-   1. Animal Rugs in Renaissance Paintings (http://www.turkotek.com/VB37/forumdisplay.php?f=27)
-   -   The tile hypothesis (http://www.turkotek.com/VB37/showthread.php?t=927)

Filiberto Boncompagni January 29th, 2012 08:54 AM

Pierre, I have to disagree on the last painting: I don’t think it’s a tiled floor.

First, for the reasons mentioned in the second post of this thread.

Second, and more important, because if that is a tiled floor I would expect to see a grid pattern. What I see, instead, are only lines parallel to the Kufic script and no perpendicular lines. Unless those are very long tiles…


Pierre Galafassi January 29th, 2012 10:27 AM

Hi Filiberto,
I have looked for these (perpendicular or oblique) lines too, without finding them.
But what else can it be?
It does not really have the structure expected from a rug, does it?
Intarsia or marquetry? The colors seem much too saturated and bright for such wood-inlay techniques.
Stone inlay? Unlikely, despite the Florentine mastery of this technique?
A painter's invention?
Best regards

Filiberto Boncompagni January 29th, 2012 04:50 PM

Hi Pierre,

There are seven paintings in this allegoric series symbolizing the Virtues. Six are from Piero del Pollaiolo. All of them but one (the “Charity”) have the same floor decoration. The “Charity” however has a slightly different one, more carpet-like but again with multiple Kufic borders:


More exactly like a “small pattern Holbein rug” as seen in your essay on “Geometric Rugs in Early Renaissance Paintings”:


Now, if you want my opinion, those floors are sort of “A painter's invention”.

Well, not exactly inventions, though: I think the artist used real elements of a “small pattern Holbein rug” in the same way he used virtual architectonic elements (I say virtual because I exclude that the niches surrounding the women were real) to build up his compositions.



Pierre Galafassi January 31st, 2012 08:38 AM

Hi Filiberto,

Yes a painter"s creation based on a real rug is a credible option, perhaps the best one.

I have dropped the hypothesis of a (semi-precious) stone-inlaid floor, mostly because such a costly solution could hardly have gone un-noticed at the time and we would probably still be able to admire it in a florentine church or palace. I am not hinting here at inlaid tiles (which would have to show vertical and horizontal lines too) but at this technique which was (and still is today) practiced by florentine artisans, mainly for tables. With this technique the brilliant and saturated colors of Del Pollaiolo's floor could have been easily achieved and no straight lines would appear.
Best regards

Filiberto Boncompagni January 31st, 2012 09:34 AM

Yes, that could have been a possibility but, as you say, such floor should be still in existence today or, if lost, its memory should have been recorded somewhere.


Yohann Gissinger February 3rd, 2012 01:21 PM

The silk textile hypothesis
Hello to all,

I don't think the tile hypothesis is valid in this case:

FIG b. P. del Pollaiolo, allegory of Faith, 1469-1470 Uffizi, Florence

The bands format drove my research to some silk textiles fragments still existing in some museums or collections:

XIV-XVth c. Spain (made) Satin band, woven in gold thread along the centre.

A simulated Kufic inscription on a red ground; along either side runs the repeating Arabic inscription "Glory to the All-powerful Lord" in red silk on a white ground, bordered by narrow bands in green, red, blue and white.
Source: V&A museum website

or like this one:

XIVth c. Spain (made) Silk and metal-wrapped thread in lampas weave.

The weaver of this silk from Muslim Spain has accurately reproduced the flowing lines of an inscription in Arabic, a task requiring enormous care. The phrase ‘Glory to our lord the sultan’ has been repeated within the widest band in the design, creating the illusion of a long frieze of calligraphy.
Source: V&A museum website

Best regards,

Filiberto Boncompagni February 3rd, 2012 01:37 PM

Bravo Yohann! :cheers:

And both textiles are fom Spain... Interesting.



Pierre Galafassi February 4th, 2012 01:25 PM

Hi Yohann,

You have got an amazing "nose" for extracting information from the net.
Do you think you could make it perform as well for truffles? :thumbsup:

P.S. I agree with Filiberto. The more we dig in "rugs and paintings" the more the feeling grows that we vastly under-evaluate the importance of Spain in rugs.

Yohann Gissinger February 5th, 2012 06:25 PM

There are lot of mysteries remaining especially with the long legged birds...


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