• Imperial Threads Animal Motifs

    Animal Motifs

Animal motifs had long been depicted in Islamic and pre-Islamic art, decorating objects including ceramics, manuscripts, textiles and stonework. Such motifs in Islamic times would generally have been employed in secular contexts, ornamenting architectural elements of palaces or display objects for royal settings. Combat scenes in particular, depicting strong animals such as lions attacking weaker prey, were commonly portrayed as they would serve to remind the viewer of the valour and courage of the ruler over his enemy.

Ardabil-Sarre Animal Carpet

Safavid, Iran

16th century

Wool and silk pile with brocaded metal threads

354 x 183 cm



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