Art remains to be one of the most consistent tools for representing culture throughout history. Even though it has significantly evolved, the key features used in creation of artwork remains even in the present moment. Weaving is one of the oldest types of art that continues to impact the contemporary society in myriad ways ranging from design and fashion among others. This paper takes an indepth analysis of two art works that were created during the same period but from different regions. The history, visual analysis, similarities and differences between the two artworks are presented.
Carpet with Triple-Arch Design
Carpet with Triple-Arch Design is a carefuly drawn, finely colored carpet. It is one of the best weavings by the Ottomans. Also, it is one of the earliest ever made carpet that incorporates a triple arched gateway. History has it that the design could have been borrowed from the Ottoman imperial workshop (Ballard, 2020).The carpet weaving is dated ca. 1575–90 thus falling under the time period 1400-1600AD. The artwork is attributed to Turkey with great assumption that it could probably have been made in Istanbul. This particular artwork has been exhibited in different museums around the world including the National Gallery of Art in Washington and Art Institute of Chicago located in Chicago (Ballard, 2020).
Carpet with Triple-Arch Design (Ballard, 2021).
Neptune from the “Doria Grotesques”
On the other hand, the Neptune from the “Doria Grotesques” a piece of thick textile fabric known as tapestry. Usually, they are used as carpets, for soft furnishing and wall hanging among other uses. The tapestry was designed by Perino del Vaga. The artist lived between the years 1501-1547 in Rome, Italy. The art is dated ca. 1550 thus belonging to the time period 1400-1600AD. The piece of art has been categorized under the Netherlandish culture with assumptions that it could have been borrowed from the Brussels. The art represents Neptune which history has it that Neptune was the god of the seas. In the art, the god of the seas stands with his trident and only top is a dolphin on a pedestal between curling plant tendrils, putti, gamboling animals and elegant swags of the drapery. The artist designed this particular piece for the naval commander Andrea Doria in an effort to add the considerable tapestry collection in his popular palazzo in Fassolo (del Vaga, 2020).
Neptune from the “Doria Grotesques” (del Vaga, 2020).
The Neptune from the “Doria Grotesques” is square shaped textile with dimensions measuring 128 15/16 x 128 15/16 inches (del Vaga, 2020). On the other hand, the Carpet with Triple-Arch Design is a rectangular shaped textile with dimensions measuring 50 x 68 inches (Ballard, 2020). The Neptune piece of art takes the form of a classical statue with different characters from the sea that have been used to exemplify the notion that the art is a representation of the god of the seas. Some of the features that have been used to indicate that it is the god of the seas comprise of the trident, dolphin image, the curling plant tendrils, putti and the gamboling animals.
It has been woven in wool and silk with a little pallet. Also, it has an amazing hatching that makes it one of the most notable tapestry in the history of art. Additionally, it has nuanced sections of light and shade that make good use of the mediums interplay that can be seen between the trompe l’oeil relief and surface pattern (del Vaga, 2020).
The carpet with Triple-Arch Design on the other hand has significant features which clearly shows that it is one of the Ottoman weavings. The carpet is often used by individuals from the Islamic religion as a rug for praying. This particular feature is evidence from the fact that it has a hanging lamp at the center (Ballard, 2020). The hanging lamp recalls verses from the Quran which are a representation of God as the light. Through its related features such as imagery, small size and high quality is an indication that it was employed as a praying rag. It can also be deduced that the carpet was used in religious functions due to the fact that the Ottoman designs and motifs which originated from the court design workshop always included religious and secular art (Metmuseum, 2020). Moreover, the design of the piece of art and its motifs are a clear representation of the collaboration in the royal workshop hence its colorfulness and high quality. While the lamp represents the religious aspect of the art period, the tulips and carnations represents the Ottoman floral style. The flowers used are a representation of an imagined paradise from which Islamic art is usually depicted through presence of lush vegetation and gardens. Moreover, its high quality noted through its sophistication, fine materials that have been used and skillful execution in its making are a clear indication that it was commissioned by a royal court member (Yalman, 2002).
Similarities and differences
There are several similarities and differences that can be deduced from the two artworks. One of the similarities is that both artworks were created during the same period 1400-1600BC. However, a difference between them is that they are from different regions; while Neptune from the “Doria Grotesques” is from Europe, Carpet with Triple-Arch Design is a piece of art from West Asia. Another similarity between the two objects is that they are both used as carpets. Even though they differ in dimensions with the Neptune being square shaped while the Carpet with Triple-Arch Design is rectangular shaped, they have both been made in high quality and sophistication (Ballard, 2020). Additionally, both artists were inspired by spiritual and religious traditions (Metmuseum, 2020).
Perino del Vaga designed the Neptune from the “Doria Grotesques” in celebration of the mythological figure; Neptune is it was most associated with Doria. By creating this piece of art, the artist was trying to show appreciation to the ship and grieving the tragedy that befell it. The use of light and shade have been used to portray the high status that Doria had in the society at the time while the dark shades are a representation of the tradgedy that followed when the ship sank (del Vaga, 2020). On the other hand, Carpet with Triple-Arch Design was created to showcase how the Ottoman designs and motifs were integrated with religious art. Also, the quality, use of imagery and its sophistication shows the lifestyle the Ottoman courtly elite during the time. Generally, it can be asserted that the carpet demonstrates the multiculturalism of the Ottoman society. Additionally, the motifs use are an indication of the Spanish and jews immigration after being expelled from Spanish and their acceptance within the Ottoman empire (Yalman, 2002).
The two pieces of art are significantly and artistically appealing due to the outstanding incorporation of religion and culture in them. Also, the reason for selecting these particular pieces is because the designs were created a long time ago but they are still being used even in the contemporary age. They are important because they reveal how art can be used to integrate culture and embrace multiculturalism. Also, the two artworks have been used as appreciation to significant figures in history and people’s life particularly the Doria ship and God respectively.
Ballard, J. (2020). Carpet with Triple-Arch Design. Retrieved 20 November 2020, from https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/447509
del Vaga, P. (2020). Neptune from the “Doria Grotesques”. Retrieved 20 November 2020, from https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/238529
Metmuseum, S. (2020). Art of the Islamic World. Retrieved 20 November 2020, from https://www.metmuseum.org/learn/educators/curriculum-resources/art-of-the-islamic-world/unit-five/chapter-two/featured-works-of-art/image-24