from 15 april to 4 june 2017 the ridotto del teatro grande in brescia presented the exhibition serenissime trame between brescia and venice. carpets of the zaleski collection, curated by moshe tabibnia and francesca fiorentino, devoted to 18 rare “transylvanian” carpets from the zaleski collection datable between the late 16th and 17th centuries and coming from an autonomous region under ottoman sovereignty, transylvania.
“transylvanians” are carpets with a unique decoration, a very original filiation of the carpets of the ottoman court of the second half of the 16th century. they represent the theme of the niche in a number of variations, single, double, with or without columns, highly important in all the ancient civilizations as the pre-eminent location for the apparition of the sacred and royalty and one of the most appropriate for the very function of the carpet with ancient peoples, where it was a space reserved for the exceptional.
the object of refined collecting in the 17th century among the hungarian and transylvanian nobility, they were jealously safeguarded and conserved in lutheran churches.
‘rediscovered’ and studied from the end of the 19th century, they received significant attention from scholars, who devoted numerous monographs to them.
their beauty, preciousness and uniqueness made them once again an object for collecting in the 20th century, while their category represents one of the historical stages of the turkish-ottoman carpet where much of the ottoman history, tradition and art of the 17th century can be read.