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January 13, 2021

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Ancient Persian carpets bring Silk Road to life

In the eyes of many, ancient Persia is a “remote mark” in ancient history. Carpets, however, have been woven since then and enshrined in classical Greek documents for enduring and impressive success.

The exhibition “Flying over Beauty of Persian Carpet” features nearly 40 Persian carpets and is currently on display at Shanghai Art Collection Museum.

Around 130 BC, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) dispatched his envoy Zhang Qian to the Western regions and opened up a trading channel starting in Chang’an, the capital during the Western Han period (206 BC-AD 25). It finally reached Rome via Liangzhou, Jiuquan, Guazhou and Dunhuang in China, then through Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, covering a total distance of 6,440 kilometers. 

This trade route came to be known as the Silk Road, derived from the primary trade in silk. Silk Road played a significant role in the development and connection of ancient civilizations in Eurasia.

Silk-weaving technology that originated in China spread to Persia through the Silk Road.

Persian carpets are known worldwide for their striking handcrafted artwork, made of top-quality pure silk. These carpets aren’t only ancient artworks that fuse classical Eastern and Western civilizations, they also contain esthetic designs and artistic value.

The exhibition is divided into two sections: “Yesterday Once More” and “Today’s Refulgence.”

The first section features Persian carpets with designs, techniques and materials similar to those found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris and the Winter Palace in St Petersburg.

In the second section, modern designers and artists apply new technologies to weaving, drawing and color matching, extending the connection between the carpets and interior decorations while developing and maintaining Persian design and traditions.

Exhibition info

Dates: Through February 7 (closed on Mondays), 9am-5pm

Venue: Shanghai Art Collection Museum

Address: 1731 Yan’an Road W. (inside Tianshan Park)


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