Posted by Irwin Kirsch on February 03, 1999 at 11:44:08:
In Reply to: Re: Are the human figures especially "primitive"? posted by Marvin Amstey on February 03, 1999 at 08:12:40:
Perhaps we are trying to look into the "primitive" vs. realistic figures meanings more than is warranted. Let's just consider Caucasian rugs. The knot used is symmetric which lends itself especially well to angular or geometric designs, which yield a "cruder" appearance than using assymetric knots. On the rug I discussed earlier, the Shirvan prayer rug with a lattice design, the two figures in the spandrels, were not "stick" figures. This rug was well executed, and the weaver was accomplished, and had the capability of producing "realistic humans". I believe that given the limitations of knot type and space allotment for the figures (my second point) the weaver did the best that she could with the pictures. The best human pictorial that I have seen in Caucasian rugs is the one depicted in Hali, Vol. 95, p.90. Note that while also a Shirvan, it is a Marasali, and that weaving district produced the finest of the Caucasian weaves at say 250kpsi or more vs. 100 or more for the typical Shirvan. (Other Caucasians would be lower, e.g. Kazaks 40-60kpsi, etc. making an accurate depiction even more difficult.) The extra fine weave of the Marasali enables the symmetrical knot to take on more curvilinear features found in the typical Persian pictorial rugs.
The second limitation is the generally small area in Caucasian rugs that these human figures occupy. Note in the Romanov Coronation rug mentioned above, how much of the rug's central field is taken up by the figures. The larger size produced more realistic figures. It makes a great deal of difference in the resolution of the human design if the weaver has a greater space since the angular knot has more room to work and can approach a curvilinear design.
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