Oriental Rugs Dictionary

Holbein Carpets

The name of the German painter Hans Holbein (1497-1543) is associated with several different geometric patterns, which, however are generally under two subtitles:

Small Pattern Holbeins present staggered rows of almost circular medallions, containing Octagon bordered by interlace alternating with quadrilorate medallions. The borders often inscribed with Psedo-Kufic writing. The small pattern gul serves as a secondary motif in the large pattern Holbein.

Large Pattern Holbeins usually comprise a field divided into rectangular compartments framing large, variously shaped medallions inscribed, within octagons. Sometimes the spaces between the large motifs are activated with pairs of small medallions. The border may contain Psedo-Kufic script. The Holbein palette is predominantly red blue and yellow.