Rug

DATE:
c. 1550–1600
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Wool
CLASSIFICATION:
Carpets
DIMENSIONS:
146 1/2 × 93 1/2 in. (3 m 72.11 cm × 2 m 37.49 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
Wendy and Emery Reves Collection - Great Hall, Level 3
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1985.R.102

General Description

The town of Alcaraz had long been a famous Moorish rug-making center in Murcia and rose to prominence as a weaving center in the 15th century. In 1504, the town fathers presented to Queen Isabella of Castile an impressive selection of rugs. During the 16th century reigns of the Emperor Charles V and King Phillip II, Alcaraz rugs are frequently listed in the inventories of royal residencies. However, by the mid-17th century, Alcaraz's industry had all but perished.

The wide borders of this rug, believed to have come from Alcaraz, depict motifs of flowers by themselves and in holders flanked by scrolled straps. The ordered lush foliage of the central field is inspired more directly by North Italian Renaissance than Islamic style.

Many of the later rugs attributed to Alcaraz are in patterns inspired by contemporary silk fabrics. The lattice with palmette design used here for the center panel is frequently found on Italian voided velvets of the period. Precedents for the border motif of paired beasts confronting one another can be seen in contemporary fabric design.

Adapted from

  • Dallas Museum of Art, Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 31.

  • Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 208.

Related Multimedia

Web Resources

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Learn more about the origin of Alcaraz rugs in Spain.