Wool warp, weft, and pile; Gördes (Anatolian) knot, about 42 knots per square inch
4 ft. 2 in. x 5 ft. 11 in. (127 x 180.3 cm)
Bequest of Joseph V. McMullan Bequest, 1973 (1974.149.29)
A bold geometric pattern of large octagonal medallions with a smaller octagon in the center and varying motifs in between was popular among weavers from villages in western Anatolia as late as the nineteenth century. In the present case, the border, which displays a combination of lozenges, triangles, and squares, effectively balances the prominent medallions in the main field. This type of medallion rug often is depicted in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century paintings and is generally referred to as a "Holbein" rug after the German painter Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/981543), who favored its representation in his works. When observed closely and compared to designs found in other media, the geometric patterns on rugs appear somewhat naive and approximate due to the obvious technical problems presented by weaving and knotting different colored wools. This, however, enhances rather than diminishes the charm of the compositions.