Discover the paintings and decorative arts of the Mughal period - the most powerful and lasting of the Islamic dynasties in India.
Carpet-weaving originally developed among the nomadic peoples of Central Asia and Iran. It had reached India by the time of Akbar, who employed craftsmen from centres such as Heart in Afghanistan. This richly coloured and very finely knotted carpet (with 780 knots to the square inch) is an outstanding example of the late seventeenth century millefleur (‘thousand-flower’) style.
The design derives partly from European influences on Mughal floral patterns and ornamental elements, which here become reduced in scale and more closely bunched. In the carpet’s main field, diverse floral sprays, blossoms, leaves and palmettes are connected by scrolling vines in repeating pattern units. The border with its scrolling pattern of lotus buds and flowers reveals a more indigenous Indian inspiration.