About this artwork
In the years since it was made for the Royal Monastery of Santa Clara in Spain, this carpet has changed significantly due to wear as well as extensive restoration. Traces of the restoration from over a century ago are visible today. The carpet restorers were highly skilled and they successfully replaced the intricate geometric motifs, Maltese crosses, and decorative Kufic script in the carpet’s well-worn areas. They used dyes, however, that have faded and changed in color over time—most notably where a pink hue has replaced the original rich brown.
Art Institute patron Charles Deering acquired this carpet and another one in 1917 from a dealer in New York for $14,500, which is equal to approximately $300,000 today. The bill of sale for that purchase stated that the carpet had already been significantly restored, a fact that did not diminish its desirability. Today, research into the original workshop that made the carpet, the workshop that conducted the restoration, and the dyestuffs is an ongoing project.
- Spain (Object made in)
- Made 1400–1473
- Wool, plain weave with supplementary wefts forming cut pile through a technique known as "Spanish knots"
- 538.5 × 198.8 cm (212 × 78 1/4 in.)
- Gift of Mrs. Richard Ely Danielson