CHINESE CARPETS


Although Chinese carpets are very popular in Europe, it should be remembered that weaving tradition has never been one of the most widespread artistic expression in China. China has never been a great wool producer and, unlike Islam, the dominant religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism do not have precepts in which carpets serve important liturgical functions. It is not easy to reconstruct the history of Chinese carpets, especially because the rare fragments of antique pieces only date back to the 17th century. However, some paintings and literature sources document that the art of handmade carpet weaving was already practiced since the 14th century.


Chinese temple  Gate of divine prowess, forbidden city, Bejing, China
 The Great Wall of China 

In all probability the handicraft tradition was imported by Mongolian populations that governed the Chinese region between 1279 and 1348 during the powerful Yuan dynasty. The popular Ming dynasty also encouraged the production of carpets. However, the most stunning Chinese masterpieces were not made until the Ch’ing dynasty, which was the real patron of this art, between the 18th and the 19th century. The designs also reproduce antique religious symbols including dragons and symbolic figures appearing on carpets often originate from Taoism and Buddhism.
Over time the Chinese weaving art was contaminated by the western art and Peking and Tientsin became the major weaving centres.
China’s carpet weaving is rather homogeneous and a classification on the base of local characteristics turns to be approximate. Nevertheless, without imposing excessively forced classifications, there are some weaving centres that differ from each other in term of tradition, manufacturing techniques and colourings. The Tientsins and the Chinese Obussons, are among their production.


Beijing Carpet

Chinese beijing rug

 

Obusson CarpetChinese Obusson rug

 

Pechino CarpetPechino rug