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Old February 3rd, 2012, 01:37 PM   #1
Yohann Gissinger
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: France
Posts: 10
Default Spanish silk textiles again

FIG 41 J. van Eyck. 1436. Virgin, Child & Canon Van der Paele.

I think the floor cover represented in the painting above has some similarities with silk textiles fragments like:

Islamic Spain, Granada, Nasrid period, 14th century Fragment from a Large Curtain. Materials and Techniques: Lampas: a combination of two weaves, twill weave and plain weave; silk
Inscriptions: the principal field of geometric laceria forming stars and squares is bordered by a broad composite band (incomplete) consisting of central wide band with knotted Kufic inscription ("beatitude"), framed by narrower bands with knotwork, Naskhi inscriptions ("success and prosperity") in cartouches and crenallations.
Cleveland museum of art

Silk with Geometric Design South-east Spain, possibly Granada 1300-1400

The pattern, which appears continuous, has been adapted to the system of ‘repeats’ needed to produce a textile. Each design unit contains an eight-pointed star, a quatrefoil and two roundels. The compartments they form are filled with a variety of smaller motifs, from interlace patterns in green or blue to tiny knots and fleurs-de-lis.
Textiles with geometrical interlace of this type were mainly produced in southern Spain and North Africa. This example was probably made in south-west Spain in the 14th century, perhaps in Granada, which was the capital of the Muslim Nasrid dynasty from about 1232 to 1492.
One can find such moorisch ornaments in Andalusian architectural tilework from the moorish period, especially in the Alhambra. The star shapes with the Fleur de Lis are characteristic for the Spanish moorish silk industry by the end of the 13th century.
Such silks were not only used in Spain. They seem also to have been popular in Italy. This piece formed part of a hanging behind a large wooden statue of the Virgin Mary in Florence. It was bought there in the 19th century.
Source: V&A museum website

Silk, lampas weavefragment, 14th century; Nasrid Spain

This silk textile fragment, of which the full loom width (hung vertically) is preserved, displays two scripts. The knotted kufic inscription woven in black repeats the word beatitude and runs on a wide red-ground border. The decorative calligraphy is in harmony with the geometric design of the fabric. The naskhi script, which reads, "good luck and prosperity," is less easily discernible, filling the small cartouches outlined in white lines within the narrower borders on both sides of the larger kufic band. The overall geometric design of the textile has close connections with architectural decoration, especially the stuccowork and wall tiles of Nasrid buildings. Similar woven textiles continued to be produced under Christian patronage after the fall of the Nasrid kingdom in 1492, testifying to their aesthetic appeal for Christians as well as Muslims.
Source: MET museum

Just a thought,
Best regards,
Yohann Gissinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 4th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #2
Pierre Galafassi
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 87

Hi Yohann,

I fully agree with you about the similarities.
The second picture shows also similarities with small holbein patterns as well as with the extant rug fragment in FIG 1, below. (Supposedly «Nasrid», thus before the fall of Granada, Sovereign Carpets, E. Concaro & A. Levi ).
FIG 1.

Your first picture (silk curtain) features a most «carpet-like» pattern with its kufic main border and the two field-covering varieties of 8-branch stars.
Field of various stars with six- or eight branches seem to be a rather frequent pattern in Spanish rugs and, as you just showed, also on silk textiles.
Other examples are FIG 2 (Extant rug given as being fifteenth century, Alcaraz, MNAD Barcelona ) and FIG 3 (painting, ca. 1500, by P. de Berruguete, Annunciation, Monastery of Miraflores, Burgos).

FIG 2.

FIG 3.

Foot Note: Knowing that Turkotek counts a large number of fanatical Turkmenomaniacs, starting with our respected Lider Máximo Steve, I have been looking with utmost diligence for anything even remotely «Turkmen» in Renaissance painting. It is with great sorrow that I must confess my failure.
The rug which comes closest to justify one of our famed volcanic discussions is the upper one by P. de Berruguete (FIG 3), but the rumors about this painter having been prisoner of the Salor are totally lacking truth (I know, I just invented it ).

Best regards
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