Trivial Pursuit: Ardabil Carpet Edition

December 17, 2009
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Most carpets are meant to be viewed directionally. From what point was LACMA’s famed Ardabil carpet, featured below, intended to be experienced?

Answer after the jump.

The Ardabil carpet, created in 1539/40 and on view now, was meant to be viewed from point B. One way to tell, if you can read Persian, is from the inscribed cartouche at position D.

An even more intriguing way to determine how to view the carpet is by looking at the positioning of the two urn-like images of hanging lamps a quarter of the way in from either side in this photograph. The artist who created the design for the carpet (whose name appears in the inscribed cartouche) made the shape on the right larger than the one on the left so that, when standing at point B, both of the lamps appear to be the same size.

Allison Agsten