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Pile carpet “Illumination”. Author V. Gylyeva. 1979 year. Fragment

Traditional weaving of nomads, designer carpets and tapestries the size of a spectacle lens. We look at the treasures of the museum collection online.

The curator knows everything about every item in the museum’s collection. He knows where this or that thing came from, what value it is and what stories are associated with it. Olga Kopeichikova, curator of the weaving fund of the Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve, chose five items from the collection under her jurisdiction and told why she liked them.

A joint article by and the Mosgortur agency.

Ensi (carpet curtain of the entrance to the yurt), late 19th century

“Ensi” in translation from the Turkic language means “woven door”. The nomads used to curtain the entrance to the yurt or tent with similar rectangular carpets. On the central field of burgundy color, as a rule, a cruciform figure was depicted, dividing the canvas into sectors, and a geometric ornament was allowed along the border.

Often on carpet curtains there was a pattern in the form of a rectangle with a pointed end. Perhaps it was the same figure that was usually depicted on prayer rugs (namazlik) and symbolized the mihrab – a prayer niche in the wall of the mosque, indicating the direction to Mecca. Some researchers of traditional weaving believe that carpet curtains could be used for prayer, but there is no evidence of this.

Asmalyk (blanket for a wedding camel), late 19th century

Paired multi-colored pentagonal rugs with fringes were placed on the back and sides of the camel like a blanket and used as decoration for the holidays. The Turkmen wedding camel was always dressed up very brightly – apart from asmalyk, they also created decorations for the knees, head and neck of the animal.

From sheep wool, pile, lint-free carpets and products combining both techniques – with a pile pattern on a lint-free background were woven. The color scheme of Turkmen carpets is always recognizable – a geometric ornament of dark blue, dark green and black threads was placed on a burgundy background. Drawings of orange and crimson color could also be present.

Carpets of all tribes are similar in color, so woven items can be distinguished by their geometric pattern. For example, the ornament of this blanket in the form of rhombuses with stepped edges is called “zerbaf” and is typical for carpets of the Yomud tribe.

Pile carpet “Illumination”, 1979

“Illumination” is the work of the Turkmen artist Vera Gylyeva. In the author’s carpets, the masters use traditional geometric ornaments and colors, but they also introduce pictorial elements that are unusual for traditional Turkmen carpet weaving – figures of people and animals.

The composition of this carpet repeats the composition of the ensi carpet curtain – a cruciform element in the center and geometric figures on the border are similar to the traditional ornament, but they do not copy it. On the horizontal strip, Vera Gyllieva depicted the figures of seated men in turbans, which resemble muezzins – the servants of the mosque, who call to prayer. On one of the stripes of the inner border, the artist placed armed riders on horses, and even lower – camels.

Vera Gylyeva uses a yellow-red color scheme, characteristic of Turkmen carpet weaving, and a traditional compositional scheme. The introduction of the author’s figurative elements turns the carpet into a thematic work of art.

Tapestry “Saturday Night”, 1980

Most of the tapestry collection of the Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve is made up of works by Baltic artists. Rudolf Heimrats is one of the leading figures of tapestry weaving, textile artist and ceramist. Heimrats is considered the founder of the school of Latvian and Soviet tapestry, the master who laid the aesthetic principles of this art. There are practically no clear forms in his works – the artist uses the technique of free shading, blurring the images of people and only outlining the outlines of their outlines.

Heimrats created his tapestries entirely with his own hands – he prepared threads, dyed yarn and weaved. He controlled the entire process in order to immediately make copyright changes as needed. The artist’s weaving is characterized by the use of a rich palette of shades. Color and light are the main characters in Heimrats’ tapestries, as are people. In each section of the canvas, the master used many threads of different shades, due to which subtle color gradations were created. Color in Heimrats is a way to express feelings.

“Saturday Night” is considered one of the best works of the artist. On the tapestry are five female figures enveloped in clouds of steam. The bodies of the bathers seem to glow against the background of a wooden bath, and due to the contrasting image of the main characters with the surrounding environment, the walls of the room and brooms hung in the corners are perceived as the frame of the entire image. For the creation of this tapestry, Heimrats was elected a member of the USSR Academy of Arts. His Saturday Night has been exhibited in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and Belgium. In 1986, six years after its appearance, the tapestry was transferred to the museum collection by the USSR Ministry of Culture.

Mini-panel “Pink Glasses”, 1990

A new form of decorative art existence – mini-tapestries – today has turned into an independent type of creativity. The woven miniatures were completed in the 1960s. At that time in Lausanne, on the initiative of the French master Jean Lurs, a biennale of textile art was held, for which artists had to send photographs of their work and a small sample of hand weaving measuring 20 by 20 centimeters. During the work of the Biennale (from 1961 to 1990) so many woven “applications” have accumulated that in 1974 it was decided to make a separate exhibition of mini-tapestries. So textile miniatures gradually became an independent trend in art.

The Tsaritsyno collection contains about 70 mini-tapestries, including works by the Moscow artist Marina Necheporuk. She has a series of miniatures dedicated to Tsaritsyn, as well as works containing the artist’s reflections on space and time. The mini-panel “Pink Glasses” is just about that. Instead of glasses, Necheporuk inserted small canvases made using the technique of tapestry weaving into the already worn frame of ordinary glasses. The obverse of the “glasses” depicts a city landscape in pink tones – gray box-shaped houses, over which a white figure of an angel flies. On the inside of the frame, the author has placed natural landscapes in shades of green. In her miniature, Necheporuk put a simple and clear idea: when a person looks at a gray city through rose-colored glasses, he can see beautiful nature.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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