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Prayer Rug with Floral and Ornamental Designs
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Prayer Rug with Floral and Ornamental Designs

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description During their daily prayers, Muslims traditionally roll out small rugs to cover the ground, creating a ritually clean space for their devotions. Likewise, the floors of mosques, which are places of communal worship, are covered with carpets on which Muslims perform their sequence of prayers. Islamic prayer rugs vary enormously in decoration, but they frequently feature a framed panel with twin columns supporting an arch that represents the mihrab, or niche in the wall of a mosque, indicating the direction of prayer toward Mecca. The design of this 16th-century Ottoman rug depicts a beautiful floral pattern with blossoms and leaves; the main border displays medallions with tulips and hyacinths. While the central arch has no columns to reflect the prayer niche, the arrangement of the blossom pattern is a kind of floral translation of the architecture.
Date Description Narrative
3/29/1983Examinationexamined for loan
10/07/2014Examinationexamined for condition
  • Prayer Rugs. The Textile Museum, Washington; The Montclair Art Museum, Montclair. 1974-1975.
  • The Eastern Carpet in the Western World. Hayward Gallery, London. 1983.
  • Beyond the Pyramids: Geometry and Design in the Carpets of Egypt, 1450-1750. The Textile Museum, Washington. 1991.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore,1927, by purchase [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1927

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16th century (Early Modern)
knotted wool pile, silk warp and weft
Accession Number
H: 69 1/2 x W: 50 1/8 in. (176.5 x 127.3 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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