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Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by sipang, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. the shah

    the shah Persian Bro #2 and enabler-in-chief

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    Design of the Ardabil Carpet (1539-1540)
    By Victoria and Albert Museum on October 11, 2011


    The entire surface of the Ardabil carpet is covered by a single integrated design – an impressive feat in view of the great size of the carpet. The basic design is relatively simple, and its components are well-balanced. Richness and variety are added by the use of contrasting background colours and the subtle differences between the filler patterns.

    The border is composed of four parallel bands. It surrounds a huge rectangular field, which has a large yellow medallion in its centre. The medallion is surrounded by a ring of pointed oval shapes, and a lamp is shown hanging from either end. This centrepiece is matched by four corner-pieces, which are quarters of a similar but simpler composition, without the lamps.

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    • The Ardabil Carpet Ardabil, North-west Iran 1539 – 1540 Hand knotted carpet in wool and silk Width approx 535.5cm x length approx 1044cm Museum no: 272-1893 Translation of text woven into carpet: 'Except for thy threshold, there is no refuge for me in all the world. Except for this door there is no resting-place for my head. The work of the slave of the portal, Maqsud Kashani.' Maqsud was probably the court official charged with producing the carpets. He was not necessarily a slave in the literal sense but called himself one to express humility, while the word for 'portal' can be used for a royal court or a shrine. Perhaps Maqsud meant both, as in this case the court was the patron of the shrine. The fourth line contains the date 946 in the Muslim calendar, which is equivalent to AD 1539 – 1540.
    • Detail showing the central medallion, Ardabil Carpet
    • Detail showing the central medallion, Ardabil Carpet
    • Detail showing the filler patterns in the Ardabil carpet

    The two lamps

    The lamps shown hanging from the centrepiece are of different sizes. Some people think this was done to create a perspective effect – if you sat near the small lamp, both would appear to be the same size. Yet there is no other evidence that this type of perspective was used in Iran in the 1530s, when the carpet was made. What is more, the lamps themselves are shown as flat shapes rather than as three-dimensional objects.

    Another view is that the difference is a deliberate flaw in the design, reflecting the belief that perfection belongs to God alone.

    The filler patterns

    Each part of the design is filled with one or more types of scrollwork set with fantastic flowers or leaves. In some there are also symmetrical snaking forms that represent clouds.

    The largest and most complex of these patterns covers the dark-blue background of the main field. Here two sets of scrolls are laid one on top of the other. As with the lamps, however, there is no attempt to create a sense of depth.

    The flatness of the pattern matches the flat surface it decorates. This harmony between shape of an object and its decoration is characteristic of Islamic art, and it is something that the founders of the V&A greatly admired.

    Comparisons with other carpet designs

    Chelsea carpet from Iran is a little older than the Ardabil carpet, and it is also very beautiful, but its design was created in a very different way. The Ardabil carpet is covered by a single, integrated design, whereas the pattern on the Chelsea carpet was loosely assembled from many different elements.

    The main field of the Chelsea carpet has two X-shaped arrangements of medallions with dark backgrounds. The large gap in the middle is filled with a round fish pond flanked by two huge Chinese-style vases. Half of this composition is repeated at each end of the main field. The rest of the field contains many relatively small motifs: trees in flower or in fruit, pairs of animals in combat or grazing, and sections of a fantastic scrollwork pattern.

    The presence of animals in the design suggests that the Chelsea carpet was made for a secular setting. There are no animals in the design of the Ardabil carpet, which we know was made for use in a religious building.

    The large Uşak carpet from Turkey is a little older than the Ardabil carpet. The medallions in its design are so large that they have become the dominant element.

    The design of the Ardabil carpet is more successful. The ring of pointed ovals and the two lamps increase the size of the centrepiece, allowing it to fill the available space. At the same time, though, the gaps within it ensure that the centrepiece does not become so dominant that it overwhelms the rest of the design.

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    • The Chelsea Carpet. Museum no. 589-1890
    • Uşak medallion carpet. Museum no. T.71-1914

    History of the Ardabil Carpet

    Why the Ardabil Carpet was made

    One of the main sights in the town of Ardabil in north-west Iran is the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334. The Shaykh was a Sufi leader, who trained his followers in Islamic mystic practices. After his death, his followers remained loyal to his family, who became increasingly powerful. In 1501, one of his descendants, Shah Isma’il, seized political power. He united Iran for the first time in several centuries and established the Shi’i form of Islam as the state religion. Isma’il was the founder of the Safavid dynasty, named after Shaykh Safi al-Din.

    The Safavids, who ruled without a break until 1722, promoted the shrine of the Shaykh as a place of pilgrimage. In the late 1530s, Isma’il’s son, Shah Tahmasp, enlarged the shrine, and it was at this time, too, that the carpet was made as one of a matching pair.

    The completion of the carpets was marked by a four-line inscription placed at one end. The first two lines are a poetic quotation that refers to the shrine as a place of refuge:

    ‘Except for thy threshold, there is no refuge for me in all the world.
    Except for this door there is no resting-place for my head.’​

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    • Anteroom to the tomb of Shaykh Safi al-Din, commonly called the Hall of Lamps
    • The shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili (the impressive tomb tower on the right in this photograph). The other shrine buildings were added around it.
    • Plan of the shrine at Ardabil, showing where the carpets were situated

    The third line is a signature, ‘The work of the slave of the portal, Maqsud Kashani.’ Maqsud was probably the court official charged with producing the carpets. He was not necessarily a slave in the literal sense but called himself one to express humility, while the word for ‘portal’ can be used for a royal court or a shrine. Perhaps Maqsud meant both, as in this case the court was the patron of the shrine.

    The fourth line contains the date 946 in the Muslim calendar, which is equivalent to AD 1539 – 1540.

    The Ardabil Carpet and the V&A

    The two Ardabil carpets were still in the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din in 1843, when one was seen by two British visitors. Thirty years or more later, the shrine suffered an earthquake, and the carpets were sold off, perhaps to raise funds for repairs. The damaged carpets were purchased in Iran by Ziegler & Co., a Manchester firm involved in the carpet trade. Parts of one carpet were used to patch the other. The result was one ‘complete’ carpet and one with no border.

    In 1892, the larger carpet was put on sale by Vincent Robinson & Co. of London. The designer William Morris went to inspect it on behalf of this Museum. Reporting that the carpet was ‘of singular perfection … logically and consistently beautiful’, he urged the Museum to buy it. The money was raised, and in March 1893 the Museum acquired the carpet for £2000.

    The second, smaller carpet was sold secretly to an American collector, and in 1953 it was given to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Ardabil carpet hung on the wall in this gallery for many years. In 2006, the Museum created the extraordinary case in the centre of the gallery so that the carpet could be seen as intended, on the floor. To preserve its colours, it is lit for ten minutes on the hour and half-hour.

    [​IMG]

    • The Ardabil Carpet on display in the Jameel Gallery, V&A
     
  2. KingJulien

    KingJulien Senior member

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    ^ I know those are from Iran, but I saw some of the most beautiful carpets in Marrakech.
     
  3. the shah

    the shah Persian Bro #2 and enabler-in-chief

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    blasphemy !
    [​IMG]
     
  4. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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    My wife and I have a beautiful rug that she bought from a street market in Iraq (she was working, but not fighting). The craftsmanship is ridiculous. Even the small ones are expensive, but you can understand why when you see them.
     
  5. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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  6. driveslowk

    driveslowk Senior member

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    Didn't they x-ray that painting and see a dead baby?
     
  7. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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    "An x-ray of the Angelus taken at Dalí’s request reveals the presence of a black shape below the surface of the ground in the painting, that Millet chose to delete from the finished canvas. Dalí, insisting that its presence helps to explain the public’s longstanding fascination with the painting, is convinced that it is the coffin of the dead son."
    http://www.lehman.cuny.edu/ciberletras/v14/mcCard.htm

    Incidentally, Dali was famously obsessed with the painting (from the same site):

    In June of 1932, as Dalí’s paranoid activity was becoming increasingly obsessive, evolving from the theme of castration to that of the death of the son and his beloved at the hands of the father, he received a visual image of an early childhood memory (5) that would lead to the creation of The Tragic Myth of Millet’s Angelus (1963), the book describing the origins of his second great myth, which also deals with the death of the son, although this time at the hands of the mother. The figures from the Angelus had begun to appear in Dalí’s work as early as 1930 and would continue for several years in canvasses like Meditation on the Harp (1932-34) (Meditation of the harp http://www.salvadordalimuseum.org/collection/surreal/meditation_on_the_harp.php), The Atavism of Dusk (1933-34) (http://www3.baylor.edu/~Jesse_Airaudi/Documents/Picturesfolder/DaliAtavismofDusk.jpeg), and Portrait of Gala (1935); but it was not until the publication of his paranoiac-critical analysis of Millet’s painting that the interested observer could begin to fully understand its significance in Dalí’s work. He describes the initial vision or "phenomenon" in the following terms:

    [T]the image of the Angelus of Millet suddenly appeared in my mind without any recent recollection or conscious association to offer an immediate explanation. This image was composed of a very clear visual representation and in colors. It was almost instantaneous and was not followed by other images. It left me with a profound impression, I was most upset by it, because, although in my vision of the aforementioned image everything "corresponded" exactly to the reproductions that I knew of the picture, it nevertheless "appeared to me" absolutely modified and charged with such a latent intentionality that the Angelus of Millet suddenly became for me the most troubling of pictorial works, the most enigmatic, the most dense, the richest in unconscious thoughts that had ever existed (Angelus 3).

    This initial vision gave rise to a series of delirious secondary ones, none of which occurred while he was sleeping. These included such random phenomena as inadvertently arranging a group of small pebbles and stones to resemble the bowed figures of the two peasants, imagining that he saw them carved out of the sculptured rocks of Cape Creus, in northern Cataluña, and fantasizing them as sculptures of colossal dimensions as night fell during a visit with Gala to the hall of the insects in the Madrid Museum of Natural History. Suddenly, everywhere he looked, he saw the man and woman of Millet’s painting.

    While they increasingly became the focus of his delirious thoughts, he realized that he was not alone in his obsession with the painting. It was the subject of countless reproductions, and he began to encounter them more and more frequently in the world of objective reality. It was depicted on tombstones and postcards and was the subject of magazine cartoon parodies; and one day while driving through a village near Cadaqués, he caught a glimpse in a shop window of a coffee set that showed it on both sides of each little porcelain cup. As Dalí himself said to his friends about all the Angelus sightings: "it’s enough to drive you crazy" (19). He did not know how to reconcile this all-absorbing, undeniably violent delirious force that had taken over his imagination with the "miserable, tranquil, insipid, imbecilic, insignificant, stereotyped, and conventional to the most mournful degree" (40) nature of the original childhood memory. He finally arrived at the inevitable conclusion that "something is happening" (Dali’s emphasis) in the painting. Like myths and legends, it had retained an inexplicable hold on the human imagination for several generations. Therefore, it had to possess an underlying, more universal meaning than what it depicted on its surface.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  8. driveslowk

    driveslowk Senior member

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  9. sipang

    sipang Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Bruce Davidson, Untitled, Subway, New York (Pink Scarf and Jacket), 1980. From the series Subway



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    Comme des Garçons, Fall 2009
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  10. steveoffice

    steveoffice Senior member

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  11. toothsomesound

    toothsomesound Senior member

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    + rep for this whole thread, will contribute soon....
     
  12. Synthese

    Synthese Darth Millennial Dubiously Honored

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    In response to Dali:

    30. La Corde (Baudelaire)

    À Édouard Manet


    «Les illusions, -- me disait mon ami, -- sont aussi innombrables peut-être que les rapports des hommes entre eux, ou des hommes avec les choses. Et quand l'illusion disparaît, c'est-à-dire quand nous voyons l'être ou le fait tel qu'il existe en dehors de nous, nous éprouvons un bizarre sentiment, compliqué moitié de regret pour le fantôme disparu, moitié de surprise agréable devant la nouveauté, devant le fait réel. S'il existe un phénomène évident, trivial, toujours semblable, et d'une nature à laquelle il soit impossible de se tromper, c'est l'amour maternel. Il est aussi difficile de supposer une mère sans amour maternel qu'une lumière sans chaleur; n'est-il donc pas parfaitement légitime d'attribuer à l'amour maternel toutes les actions et les paroles d'une mère, relatives à son enfant? Et cependant écoutez cette petite histoire, où j'ai été singulièrement mystifié par l'illusion la plus naturelle.

    «Ma profession de peintre me pousse à regarder attentivement les visages, les physionomies, qui s'offrent dans ma route, et vous savez quelle jouissance nous tirons de cette faculté qui rend à nos yeux la vie plus vivante et plus significative que pour les autres hommes. Dans le quartier reculé que j'habite et où de vastes espaces gazonnés séparent encore les bâtiments, j'observai souvent un enfant dont la physionomie ardente et espiègle, plus que toutes les autres, me séduisit tout d'abord. Il a posé plus d'une fois pour moi, et je l'ai transformé tantôt en petit bohémien, tantôt en ange, tantôt en Amour mythologique. Je lui ai fait porter le violon du vagabond, la Couronne d'Épines et les Clous de la Passion, et la Torche d'Éros. Je pris enfin à toute la drôlerie de ce gamin un plaisir si vif, que je priai un jour ses parents, de pauvres gens, de vouloir bien me le céder, promettant de bien l'habiller, de lui donner quelque argent et de ne pas lui imposer d'autre peine que de nettoyer mes pinceaux et de faire mes commissions. Cet enfant, débarbouillé, devint charmant, et la vie qu'il menait chez moi lui semblait un paradis, comparativement à celle qu'il aurait subie dans le taudis paternel. Seulement je dois dire que ce petit bonhomme m'étonna quelquefois par des crises singulières de tristesse précoce, et qu'il manifesta bientôt un goût immodéré pour le sucre et les liqueurs; si bien qu'un jour où je constatai que, malgré mes nombreux avertissements, il avait encore commis un nouveau larcin de ce genre, je le menaçai de le renvoyer à ses parents. Puis je sortis, et mes affaires me retinrent assez longtemps hors de chez moi.

    «Quels ne furent pas mon horreur et mon étonnement quand, rentrant à la maison, le premier objet qui frappa mes regards fut mon petit bonhomme, l'espiègle compagnon de ma vie, pendu au panneau de cette armoire! Ses pieds touchaient presque le plancher; une chaise, qu'il avait sans doute repoussée du pied, était renversée à côté de lui; sa tête était penchée convulsivement sur une épaule; son visage, boursouflé, et ses yeux, tout grands ouverts avec une fixité effrayante, me causèrent d'abord l'illusion de la vie. Le dépendre n'était pas une besogne aussi facile que vous le pouvez croire. Il était déjà fort roide, et j'avais une répugnance inexplicable à le faire brusquement tomber sur le sol. Il fallait le soutenir tout entier avec un bras, et, avec la main de l'autre bras, couper la corde. Mais cela fait, tout n'était pas fini; le petit monstre s'était servi d'une ficelle fort mince qui était entrée profondément dans les chairs, et il fallait maintenant, avec de minces ciseaux, chercher la corde entre les deux bourrelets de l'enflure, pour lui dégager le cou.

    «J'ai négligé de vous dire que j'avais vivement appelé au secours; mais tous mes voisins avaient refusé de me venir en aide, fidèles en cela aux habitudes de l'homme civilisé, qui ne veut jamais, je ne sais pourquoi, se mêler des affaires d'un pendu. Enfin vint un médecin qui déclara que l'enfant était mort depuis plusieurs heures. Quand, plus tard, nous eûmes à le déshabiller pour l'ensevelissement, la rigidité cadavérique était telle, que, désespérant de fléchir les membres, nous dûmes lacérer et couper les vêtements pour les lui enlever.

    «Le commissaire, à qui, naturellement, je dus déclarer l'accident, me regarda de travers, et me dit: «Voilà qui est louche!» mû sans doute par un désir invétéré et une habitude d'état de faire peur, à tout hasard, aux innocents comme aux coupables.

    «Restait une tâche suprême à accomplir, dont la seule pensée me causait une angoisse terrible: il fallait avertir les parents. Mes pieds refusaient de m'y conduire. Enfin j'eus ce courage. Mais, à mon grand étonnement, la mère fut impassible, pas une larme ne suinta du coin de son �il. J'attribuai cette étrangeté à l'horreur même qu'elle devait éprouver, et je me souvins de la sentence connue: «Les douleurs les plus terribles sont les douleurs muettes.» Quant au père, il se contenta de dire d'un air moitié abruti, moitié rêveur: «Après tout, cela vaut peut-être mieux ainsi; il aurait toujours mal fini!»

    «Cependant le corps était étendu sur mon divan, et, assisté d'une servante, je m'occupais des derniers préparatifs, quand la mère entra dans mon atelier. Elle voulait, disait-elle, voir le cadavre de son fils. Je ne pouvais pas, en vérité, l'empêcher de s'enivrer de son malheur et lui refuser cette suprême et sombre consolation. Ensuite elle me pria de lui montrer l'endroit où son petit s'était pendu. «Oh! non! madame, -- lui répondis-je, -- cela vous ferait mal.» Et comme involontairement mes yeux se tournaient vers la funèbre armoire, je m'aperçus, avec un dégoût mêlé d'horreur et de colère, que le clou était resté fiché dans la paroi, avec un long bout de corde qui traînait encore. Je m'élançai vivement pour arracher ces derniers vestiges du malheur, et comme j'allais les lancer au dehors par la fenêtre ouverte, la pauvre femme saisit mon bras et me dit d'une voix irrésistible: «Oh! monsieur! laissez-moi cela! je vous en prie! je vous en supplie!» Son désespoir l'avait, sans doute, me parut-il, tellement affolée, qu'elle s'éprenait de tendresse maintenant pour ce qui avait servi d'instrument à la mort de son fils, et le voulait garder comme une horrible et chère relique. -- Et elle s'empara du clou et de la ficelle.

    «Enfin! Enfin! tout était accompli. Il ne me restait plus qu'à me remettre au travail, plus vivement encore que d'habitude, pour chasser peu à peu ce petit cadavre qui hantait les replis de mon cerveau, et dont le fantôme me fatiguait de ses grands yeux fixes. Mais le lendemain je reçus un paquet de lettres: les unes, des locataires de ma maison, quelques autres des maisons voisines; l'une, du premier étage; l'autre, du second; l'autre, du troisième, et ainsi de suite, les unes en style demi-plaisant, comme cherchant à déguiser sous un apparent badinage la sincérité de la demande; les autres, lourdement effrontées et sans orthographe, mais toutes tendant au même but, c'est-à-dire à obtenir de moi un morceau de la funeste et béatifique corde. Parmi les signataires il y avait, je dois le dire, plus de femmes que d'hommes; mais tous, croyez-le bien, n'appartenaient pas à la classe infime et vulgaire. J'ai gardé ces lettres.

    «Et alors, soudainement, une lueur se fit dans mon cerveau, et je compris pourquoi la mère tenait tant à m'arracher la ficelle et par quel commerce elle entendait se consoler.»


    True story, one time my dad knocked Dali over in Paris while he was running through a hotel. Didn't understand what the massive fuss was about until someone told him who he'd run over.
     
  13. sipang

    sipang Senior member

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    Ha, I don't remember ever reading that one, struggled with the ending for a second.
     
  14. Synthese

    Synthese Darth Millennial Dubiously Honored

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    I guess one of Manet's models did commit suicide at some point; a dubious dedication
     

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