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The “Carpet Pages” in Islamic Manuscript Illumination:
Are they related to historical carpet production? "


Prof. Dr. Claus-Peter Haase

Director (emeritus)  of the Pergamon Museum of Islamic Art,
  State Museum of Berlin
Hon., Professor of Islamic Art and Archeology ,
  Freie Universitat Berlin

The famous glamour of Oriental carpets in Abbasid and Iranian art history is known from only a very few original examples – their exploding colors and complicated design shows that their ornament structure was carefully planned.  This could point to the effect of the court ateliers (kitab-khana, naqqash-khana) in such centers as Baghdad, Tabriz and Shiraz, as has often been described.  There the manuscript production led to a climax of highly complex works of art, with supremely fine miniature paintings and ornament design, and well-considered color schemes.  This talk by Prof. Dr. Claus-Peter Haase will follow the development of manuscript illumination from the 11th to the 16th centuries, and compare it with the known examples of carpets in miniature paintings. The ornaments and even the techniques changed with the taste of new patrons, but it still remains unclear how the design was translated into the various materials of the crafts like carpet knotting, and whether the carpets depicted in miniatures show designs close to unpreserved historical examples.

Prof. Dr. Claus-Peter Haase studied Islamic studies and art, Classical Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the Universities of Hamburg, Rome and Istanbul (since 1961), and received his PhD at the University of Hamburg in 1972. He is a Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin (since 2004); the Director (emeritus) of the Pergamon Museum of Islamic Art, State Museums of Berlin (2001-2009); and A Board member of the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul. He is the director of the archaeological excavations in early Islamic Madinat al-Far/Hisn Maslama, Northern Syria, since 1987, among many other titles and positions, and has written extensively in his fields.  Prof. Dr. Haase’ main subjects of research are Islamic art and aesthetics, Arabic calligraphy; art and archaeology of the early Islamic period in the Fertile Crescent; history and architectural decoration in the Timurid period in Central Asia (14th-15th cent.); and classical Ottoman art.  TMA/SC members are invited to bring examples of early rugs, miniature paintings depicting carpets, and old Koran pages, to share with the group.



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