By the seventeenth century, Persian carpets were among the most desirable luxury commodities in Europe, especially in Portugal. To compete successfully with Ottoman exports, the Safavids standardized their designs by combining palmettes with scrolling vines, curling lancet leaves, and stylized cloud bands derived from Chinese art. The main ground was usually red, surrounded by either blue or green borders. The popularity in Europe of such Safavid carpets meant that Mughal India also produced identical examples, complicating the process of identifying their origin.
Iran, Safavid period, 17th century
Wool and cotton
Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery (William A. Clark Collection)
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery