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"Lotto" Carpet, 16th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wool (warp, weft, and pile); symmetrically knotted pile
L. 85 1/2 in. (217.2 cm), W. 51 1/4 in. (130.2 cm), Wt. 19 lbs. (8.6 kg) with cradle
Rogers Fund, 1908

Provenance: [ Dikran G. Kelekian, New York, until 1908; sold to MMA]

The earliest carpets of the "Lotto" group—so named because a carpet very similar to this one was portrayed in a famous sixteenth-century altarpiece by the Italian painter Lorenzo Lotto—show the characteristic yellow arabesque on a red ground, and employ a border such as this one, based on angular kufic Arabic script, in which the outer side is "open" with finial-like forms. Later sixteenth-century examples have simplified borders, often with a geometric interface; by the seventeenth century, cartouche borders became common.

"'Lotto' Carpet [Turkey] (08.167.1)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2011)


Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 312, ill. fig. 207 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 68, pp. 184, 220, ill. fig. 158 (b/w).

Ellis, Charles. Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1988. pp. 28-29.