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Sheikh Safieddin Ardabili Carpet among World’s 50 Artistic Masterpieces

Monday, May 11, 2009

Active ImageThe unique carpet of Sheikh Safieddin Ardabili’s mausoleum has been included in the list of 50 selected artistic masterpieces of the world.

This precious carpet, which is displayed at Victoria and Albert Hall of London at present, is a symbol of art and mysticism of the Safavid era. It was kept at Sheikh Safi’s shrine in Ardabil, the burial place of Sheikh Safi al-Din, ancestor of Shah Ismail, founder of the Safavid dynasty, until 1983.

The Sunday Times newspaper published in Britain recently chose 50 works as artistic masterpieces from among thousands of priceless art and historical masterpieces in the world. The name of this precious and unique carpet, known as Ardabil carpet, is among these 50 masterpieces.
Woven between 1539-1540 by Iranian artists, the Ardabil carpet measures 10.51m x 5.34m (34' 6" x 17' 6") and is thought to be one of the largest oriental carpets in the world.
It has been conserved in the best conditions so far and no damage has been inflicted on it.
Art experts consider this carpet with its beautiful motifs as a unique abstract work of art which keeps pace with the abstract paintings of the current century in terms of artistic level.
The design is of singular perfection. Its size and splendor as a piece of workmanship do full justice to the beauty and intellectual qualities of the design.
The origin remains unclear but it is said that Shah Tahmasb I had it woven for Dar al-Hefaze Hall or Qandil Khaneh.

Some sources indicate that Shah Tahmasb I ordered it to be woven immediately after coming to power in the year 930 lunar hejira and it was woven by Master Maqsoud Kashani alone in 16 years.
Yet, at one end of the Ardabil carpet, a cartouche contains an inscription which dates it to 1539/40 AD.
The motif of the carpet has been designed according to the image on the ceiling of Qandil Khaneh and those who had entered the place saw both the floor and ceiling of the same design, something that associates the mentality of mystics of the Safavid dynasty.

Related Links:
1.http://www.vam.ac.uk/images/image/45611-popup.html
2.http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/asia/object_stories/ardabil/design_ardabil/index.html
3.http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/asia/object_stories/ardabil/ardabil_manufacture/index.html
4.http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/asia/object_stories/ardabil/why_made/index.html
5.http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/asia/object_stories/ardabil/carpet_and_va/index.html

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