Fragment of a pile carpet, India, Mughal, ca. 1600
“This fragment is one of about fifteen preserved from two large carpets that are presumed to have been made for the court of the Great Mughal Akbar. Each of them measured c. 960 × 380 cm. A grotesque, almost nightmarish world of animals and mythical creatures devouring one another is seen against a wine-red ground and between flowers and vases with bouquets.
The motif is not Islamic, but it is found in other Mughal art and was rooted in the local Hindu art tradition. Pile carpets, in contrast, came to India from the north with the Muslims, and fragments from the two carpets are presumably among the oldest that exist from the Indian subcontinent.”