Historical Oriental Rugs & Carpets
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The Rearing and Marriage of Female Foundlings

1441-42
Fresco
Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala, Siena


DOMENICO DI BARTOLO
(b. ca. 1400, Asciano, d. ca. 1447, Siena)
Sienese School


Domenico di Bartolo's The Marriage of the Foundlings features a large carpet with a Chinese-inspired phoenix-and-dragon pattern

This fresco is located on the west wall of the Pellegrinaio in the Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala. The Pellegrinaio is a fourteenth-century room took the form of a long vaulted hall situated on the ground floor of the hospital. Between 1441 and 1442, Domenico di Bartolo executed three large mural paintings on the west wall - the Care of the Sick, the Reception of Pilgrims and the Distribution of Alms and the Rearing and Marriage of Female Foundlings - all of which recorded the hospital's main activities, as clearly set out in the surviving fourteenth-century statutes.


The famous "Dragon Phoenix carpet" symbolizes the immortality of the divine and the triumph of life everlasting. The phoenix, flying above the "S" shaped 'divine' dragon, bears symbol for potent and auspicious powers. 90 x 172 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Islamiches Museum, Berlin. early 15th century. Ottoman / Karakoyunlu Period (The Kara Koyunlu, also called the Black Sheep Turkomans, were a Oghuz Turkic tribal federation that ruled over the territory comprising the present-day Azerbaijan, Armenia, part of Georgia, north western Iran (Azerbaijan province), eastern Turkey and Iraq from about 1375 to 1468.)