Art historian Lauren Arnold will give a presentation on the subject of her ongoing research into oriental carpets in early Renaissance paintings.
Her online Carpet Index debuted on Flickr in 2008, and includes over 300 images of oriental carpets in Renaissance paintings. Lauren's research for her upcoming new book has led her to several startling new conclusions about the nature of these painted carpets in Italian works of art.
For one, she has fresh evidence of significant Christian iconographic meaning for them as markers of holy ground beneath the Virgin Mary; and two, she will demonstrate that before 1500, the depicted carpets are not of Muslim manufacture, per conventional wisdom, but are of eastern Christian origin.
Arnold believes that their presence in Italian paintings indicates a significant migration of Christian Armenians, Georgians, and Syrians into the Italian peninsula and elsewhere in the west in advance of militant Ottoman pressure in the east, which culminated in the fall of Constantinople to the Muslim Turks in 1453.