Persian Kashan Pictorial Rug

Rug #1922
Size: 198 x 131 cm / 6.5 x 4.3 ft
Handwoven in: 

Persian Kashan Rug Pictorial Fine Wool


A Fine Persian Kashan Pictorial Rug, Central Persia,  Wool on Cotton Foundation,


The polychrome landscape field displaying a lake, trees and clusters of buildings along a twisting pathway ending in a mountain range below a sun-setting sky, within a coral red border enclosing continuous hillocks adorned with buildings trees and fawn.

Kashan was the largest city in Central Persia during the 17th Century, and virtually all traffic between the historical city of Esfahan and the east passed through it. Because of the location, Kashan became a significant stopping off point along this busy trade route during the 17th century, Safavid Era. During this time in which carpet weaving flourished in Persia, Kashan developed a reputation as one of the finest and most important weaving centres, and as such, Persian Kashan carpets were quick to exemplify the very best of Persian urban artistry in woven form. The 17th Century is often referred to as the ‘Golden age’ of Persian carpet production and Kashan was very much a part of this ‘age’.  Towards the end of the nineteenth century the weavers there began to produce high quality rugs and carpets, to meet the demands of a prosperous growing western market place where ‘all things eastern’ were becoming increasingly fashionable following a decline in interest during the 18th and early 19th century. The tradition of creating outstanding woven art had not been lost in the major urban centres of Kashan, Esfahan, Kerman and Tabriz and other significant centres, and as such this ‘Revival’ continued the high standards of design and technique established in the classical era. The ‘Revivalist’ era also heralded the arrival of new styles of design which established this time as the new ‘Golden Age’ of Persian handmade carpet production.

This Persian Kashan rug is from an original recognisable small group of ‘revivalist’ pictorial rugs, defined by the drawing style. Pictorial rugs take many forms depicting landscape scenes with or without animals and human forms, sometimes wooded, sometimes with more open pictorial images; this open style is seen here. Kashan weavers are historically used to creating dense, highly detailed patterns though this original Kashan work displays a relatively uncharacteristic pictorial scene. The pattern details present an intriguing mix of basic simplistic drawing with occasional more detailed motifs, similar to the painting style of post Impressionism. The image appears to be an exercise in perspective, which is effectively presented by the layered subject matter and the associated drawing of the elements. The colours are essentially pastel in tone, with shades of red, salmon pink, brown, blue, green, olive green, coral red, and aquamarine. Stronger colours are used to enhance the presentation of depth and place emphasis on the perspective with use of charcoal outlining which is apparent in this composition. The meandering pathway disappearing at the base of the mountains also enhances the depth element to the composition. The variegated green and coral sky is a magnificent feature representing either a sunrise or sunset emerging or disappearing from behind the mountain range, thus completing the sense of depth and which somehow brings a subtle sense of realism to the scene. The red border pattern is a fascinating addition, with pattern details drawn in the same style reflecting the tree, building and hill elements, yet with the inclusion of playful fawns; the presence of these animals are not present in the main scene, as indeed there are no animals, birds or human figures included which in the scheme of things is rare when such pattern elements are presented.

This Persian Kashan pictorial rug, a wonderful pictorial scene presented in an individual style consistent with ‘Revivalist’ approach to creating outstanding, original works of woven art, of which the highly skilled Kashan weavers are well equipped to aspire to.



Persian Kashan Rug. This piece was handwoven in Kashan , Iran. For further information please contact us and our team will be pleased to assist you. All pieces in the collection are under the auspices of Essie Sakhai, one of the world’s foremost experts and collectors of fine handmade Persian rugs and carpets.