• Imperial Threads

    Imperial Threads

Featured Motifs

The Safavids (1501–1736)

The Ottomans (1299–1923)

The Mughals (1526-1857)


Imperial Threads: motifs and artisans from Turkey, Iran and India highlights the exchange of artistic and material cultures in the early modern era (16th– 19th century). Focusing on carpets as the prominent medium, manuscripts, metalwork, ceramics, and other objects are also featured to further illustrate the historical and artistic context of this time. Beginning with the Timurid period in Iran and Central Asia (1370–1507), this exhibition shows the continuation of artistic practices shared amongst succeeding and neighbouring dynasties, namely the Safavids in Iran (1501–1736), the Ottomans in Turkey (1299–1923) and the Mughals in India (1526–1857).


Making images of large objects with superb quality sometimes pushes beyond the limits of what’s possible using only a single photograph; the large carpets in MIA’s permanent collection are good examples of this.

A typical way to photograph a carpet is to lay it flat on the studio floor and to position the camera above looking down, resulting in images that will look flat and square. Setting the studio lighting to point directly upwards against a white ceiling will allow for a soft and even light, which in turn will bounce back across the entire carpet.

Why not come and see the real carpets for yourself? You can enjoy a selection of large carpets and other fascinating objects that will be appearing in the temporary exhibition “Imperial Threads: motifs and artisans from Turkey, Iran and India” from March 15 - 27 January 2018 at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.