Home > LACMA's Questionable Rug Purchase >Will the Real "Bellini" Stand Up?
Fri, Jun 8th, 2007 01:07:34 PM
Topic: Will the Real "Bellini" Stand Up?

Apropos to our argument dodds’s rug is not a masterpiece of its type, nor is it circa 1600, here is the photo of a similar rug that is:

This rug was collected by James Ballard and donated to the Metropolitan Museum in New York and presently is hanging in a show of Classical Carpets at the Institute du Monde Arabe(IMA) in Paris.

Here is the caption for this rug from the exhibition:
“'Bellini', Keyhole' or Re-entrant' prayer rug, west or central Anatolia, 16th or 17th century.
1.19 x 1.52m (3'11" x 5'0").
The re-entrant device is one of the longest lived and most interesting designs on Anatolian rugs. It is formed by a continuous narrow band placed just inside the field. At the lower end, this band runs parallel to the main border until it re-enters the central part of the field in an inverted 'U' shape resembling a keyhole.
These rugs are also known as 'Bellini' rugs because of their depiction in two paintings, one by Gentile Bellini, painted after 1469, and the other by Giovanni Bellini in 1507. In his caption for this example, Metropolitan Museum curator Daniel Walker writes that most of the elements seen here are also found in the composition of the Met's other 'Bellini' rug (6, right).
However, here the central medallion is not a radiant motif but a diamond shape with a multi-lobed outline, like those found in a similar form in Ushak carpets. The 'lamp' is repeated five times, above and below the top of the niche. The weakening of the design together with the size and closeness of the ornaments probably indicate a later date of execution than that of the other 'Bellini'. The differences in overall design, drawing of the motifs, colours and technical characteristics also suggest a different place of production.
It is interesting that the weaver chose to use only half of the 'ragged leaf' border. It is unlikely that this was done in order to give the impression of an endless design continuing beyond the outer guard stripe, and more probable that the model used simply did not fit the format. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, James F. Ballard Collection, no.22.100.114 “

As any reader can easily deduce, if this rug is dated to 16th/17th centuries, how could dodds’s, obvious inferior and even more weakened example, be considered to be as old?

A comparison like this, which is just one of many possible, calls denny, mackie and thompson’s judgment to question, let alone dodds’s position calling his rug a masterpiece and circa 1600.

RK.com doesn’t believe LACMA can possibly continue to countenance their or dodds’s viewpoint when faced with such clear-cut proof it’s only a dealer’s fantasy and not an art-historic reality.

Author: jc
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Fri, Jun 8th, 2007 01:07:34 PM

The post above was also written in 2005 and what it demonstrates is just as valid now as it was then.

Is there anyone even moderately conversant with early Turkish Village Rugs who would agree with dodds, and obvious all the head-nodders at hali and all those self-appointed big-wigs on the icoc/acor committees, that the LACMA "Bellini" is anything but a later period genre copy?

So far RK has found no one who could possibly believe dodds's "Bellini" is anything close to what he believes, or at least disingenuously still claims.

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