Mousavi Carpet Gallery
Mousavi Carpet Gallery which has been established in 1960 through the effort, endeavor and management of Artist Seyed Abolhassan Mousavi Sirat is one of the oldest and most active art centers in this field .In the field of illustrative carpets this gallery has accomplished a lot in designing, weaving and representing some of the best samples of this valuable art.
The art of illustrative carpet-weaving enjoys an exclusive and unique complexity, elegance and skill, which gives it a special and distinguished importance, and as a result of constant efforts of the artists a new scope of imagination, skill and innovation has been created in the ancient and valuable art of carpet- weaving in Iran. This special art has been adored, by art-admirers for half a century both in Iran and abroad, in a way that many samples of these and a great number of Mousavi Carpet Gallery works, are now being displayed in the best museums of Japan, Europe and the United States, and they also decorate many private collections in the world.
It takes years to design, weave and finish every single illustrative carpet in Mousavi Gallery and through millions of knots and hundreds of colors; pictures are created which arouse the admiration and endless surprise of its admirers.
It should he mentioned that only designing and color-scheme of this collection requires hard word, care and accuracy and analyzing hundreds of dyes and putting them hack together needs complicated and unique skill which in itself is the result of a lifetime hard work, skill and devotion and only a few devoted lovers of this art, have succeeded in fulfilling this mastership.
This skilful, delicate and hard work of illustrative carpet-weaving is performed in Mousavi Gallery, where skilful carpet-weavers and famous craftsmen are creating art that has cherished the eyes of visitors and admirers of this art for years.
The valuable art of illustrative carpets is a sign of eternity of the unique and tine art of traditional carpet-weaving in Iran, and pursuing it in this gallery, satisfies and assures the admirers that the search for unknown fields and scopes of contemporary art, by relying on our magnificent treasure of masterpieces of the past, can carryon its dynamism and creativity and also adorn the art and culture of IRAN and the world.
Woven Paintings of Shahnameh
The art of carpet weaving in Persia dates back to 3000 years ago. The oldest Persian carpet was found in Pazirik, Siberia, which possesses all the major specifications of Persian carpets’ designs and texture.
Unfortunately, there is no Persian carpet left from pre-Islamic period, but it is obvious that it has been the outstanding and widespread expertise of Persians.
The same heritage is transferred to the Islamic period in form of fabrics and carpets and is spread thoroughly through the Islamic culture.
Persian carpets have frequently been used as wall ornaments. The world famous magnificent "Baharestan" carpet from late Sasani period is a fine and sophisticated example of this art which became popular in medieval Europe and founded the art of tapestry weaving.
Tapestry weaving with its own principles and rules was revived two centuries ago in Iran. There are a number of Persian tapestries in museums in Asia, Europe and America. Among them are those by the master designer Forsat-o-doleh Shirazi.
In the last fifty years some workshops have continued to work on this magnificent art.
Mousavi Carpet Gallery is one of those places. It was established in 1960 and from the beginning concentrated on creativity and innovation in this art. Tens of extraordinary carpets with subjects taken from the famous paintings of the 16th century C.E. onward were created in this gallery. The gallery also pioneered the use of ancient Persian miniatures in carpets. An astonishing example is Prophet Mohammed (P B U H) ‘s ascension which took five years to weave.
The recent masterpiece of this gallery is the splendid collection of 26 carpets woven with soft wool and silk, 170 cm in 115 cm each with 3500 colors and 10000 knots per square decimeter supervised by the master "Seyed Aholhassan Mousavi Sirat" and "Seyed Mohsen Mousavi Sirat". The subjects were taken from the world famous epic called Shahnameh or the story of kings by the well known Persian poet Ferdosi.
This particular edition of the book belongs to the first half of the 10th century A.H. and is an artistic collection of Persian paintings, calligraphy and architecture from Safavieh period. It took hundreds of artists to compile the book with 22 fantastic paintings and elaborate illuminations.
To transfer the delicacy and complexity of the paintings and illuminations into the weaving required a certain commitment to solve the various problems encountered.
During the six years of weaving these carpets one hundred artists worked hard and did all in their power to create the masterpiece and to receive the supervisor’s appreciation.
An important point is the weaving of the poems and the calligraphy in Nastaligh characters which has traditionally been on the corner or with in the miniature.
The delicacy and style of Islamic calligraphy by bamboo pens in sophisticated dimensions made the weaving almost impossible, especially because the lines, points and curves which characterize Nastaligh had to be created as if they were written on the carpets by bamboo pens. To reach this goal, the weaving process was repeated many times before reaching the ideal.
The collection is accompanied by two other carpets. one, the portrait and the name of the famous poet Abolghasem Ferdosi and the other, the portrait and names of the supervisor and his colleagues which serve as an identification for the whole collection. The designs of these two carpets were also taken from the illuminations of the first two pages of the same book, but still some writings and paintings were added to them.
Marginal paintings with soft colors (Tasheer) were also added with an inspiration from ancient miniatures.
This is the first collection of Persian tapestries with one chronological subject and is unique in Iran as well as the whole world, save a couple of carpets with Rafael and Robans designs.
The collection presented here is the undying efforts of the laborious fingers of committed artists who think of carpet designing and carpet weaving superior to any worldly comparison and who have never hesitated to put forth the mystical art of carpet weaving through the delicateness of the movements of their humble hands.