Home > Flatweaves >Altdorfer's 1526AD Kelim: re-examined
Thu, Aug 24th, 2017 03:49:07 AM
Topic: Altdorfer's 1526AD Kelim: re-examined

Susanna im Bade (Susanna in the Bath) painted in 1526 by Albrecht Altdorfer, b.1480 - d.1538

Recently RK was in Munich, Germany and we took the opportunity to revisit the Alte Pinakotek where the Altdorfer painting, Susanna im Bade, resides.

Detail of the weaving

Astute readers, particularly those interested in Anatolian Kelim, will remember mention of this painting in Part VII of our book length Anatolian Kelim Opus, which can be see at this URK :

This painting is the only evidence yet discovered to place an Anatolian Kelim in the 16th century.

And while that evidence is somewhat circumstantial it is nonetheless worth examining.

In the Anatolian Opus we did just that but our photos shown above were made with a low resolution digital camera.

At that time, 2009, we also presented other photos made from a postcard we purchased at the museum. Neither of which were detailed enough to allow the new findings published below to be discovered.

This time we were better equipped with a 16 megapixil camera that enabled far better ones, which appear below with additional commentary, to be made.

The first and most salient piece of new evidence is the discovery of the S icon, which is rarely if ever seen outside the confines of Turkic weaving cultures (Anatolian and Turkmen).

Detail Susanna im Bad with red arrow pointing to the S icon.

In our Tent Band Tent Bag publication we traced the archaeological root of this icon back to the late Bronze Age, where it appears on a rare small group of clay female effigy/idols.

There it can be plainly seen on both sides of their heads, as a knotted or plaited hairstyle.

We are still on record stating this, and not a dragon or snake, is this icons probable source.

Perhaps we will someday find an even older S icon, but for now these statuettes remain the earliest reference.

We had missed this important detail in our previous examination of the painting and the photos.

Another ubiquitous icon found in the Turik iconographic library, as well as other Near Eastern weaving cultures, is a sequence of reciprocal hooks found on border stripes better known as the running dog.

Now in our re-examination and re-photographing of Altdorfers painting this small detail was also noticed.

Detail red and white reciprocal hook, or running-dog, border

It likewise is evidence linking the weaving in the painting to an Anatolian tradition.

The next photo provides a very clear picture of several of the other stripes and, while their iconography is not as directly traceable to Anatolia weaving culture, it surely is reminiscent.

But the keystone proving this weaving is a kelim can be seen in the enlarged detail below, with black arrows marked 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The arrows 1, 3 and 4 point to the unique stepped or terraced outline all motifs on slit-tapestry, aka kelim, always display. This is the result of technical aspects of the slit-tapestry technique.

And Altdorfers artist rendering of them is clearly visible. Had they not been present it is sure he would have represented the design outlines with a solid, and not a broken dot - dot, line.

If there is any doubt this is the case, arrow 2 points to an even more unmistakable terraced design, a stepped-outlined half polygon, seen on countless Anatolian Kelim.

This now appears to be the final proof the weaving is a slit-tapestry, aka kelim, and not a pile weaving or some other flat-weave like a jijim or soumak, as none of these techniques produce terraced-outlined patterns.

Unquestionably the weaving in this painting presents a fascinating riddle, and while the evidence above points quite convincingly to it being a kelim, and for RK is beyond a shadow of doubt, it still is not proof positive.

Author: jc
Thu, Aug 24th, 2017 03:49:07 AM

In the fall of 1984 when RK was in Munich, Germany we discovered the Altdorfer painting "Suzanna im Bad" hanging in one of the marvelous galleries of the Alte Pinakotek.

We then published our discovery for the first time in conjunction with Anatolian kelim studies in our "Anatolian Opus" in December 2009. By the way, the painting is positively dated 1526.

After reading our analysis above there should be little doubt the weaving Altdorfer pictured in the foregound of this painting is a slit tapestry, aka kelim. However, where it was made is open to some conjecture.

That said the evidence we presented in the October 2014 article above, which re-examined new far better photos, presents what RK believes is enough to push the tantalizing idea this is an Anatolian kelim well past the necessary definition of "reasonable doubt" used in a court of law.

Recently RK learned of another farcebook attempt to create a "discussion" about RK's published research. This time the Altdorfer painting and the tapestry are the subject.

Begun by plagariast and duplicitous liar francesca fiorintino, whose name and reputation as a know-little carpet magpie should be familiar to astute readers after RK detailed with proof positive her copying the essence of an article we wrote and published along with several photographs. When she then tried to cover-up her actions by denying she had done so, or even seen our work, we proved she had seen it months before. Cornered by the truth she then admitted she had seen it but claimed her work was original.

Yeah right, and the dog ate my homework and afterwards drank my beer.

Anyway, the farcebook jockeys in the "Kilim" group started by michael, aka terminator, bischof are twisting their knickers up trying to claim Altdorfer was not painting an Anatolian kelim but rather a cicim, soumak, or some other flat-weave.

Their puny attempts to deny the evidence we published are laughable, as is the fact they refuse to publish this photo which is the keystone center piece of our arguments.

Leading the doubting thomas posse is RK-hater bischof, who in his usual terminator fashion continues to disregard the facts even when his negations are proven to be absolutely incorrect and worthless.

Another squawker, or should we say squeeker, is signor tuna fish, ali reze tuna, who believes the weaving is 'european' and posted a photo of a completely unrelated Swedish kelim to prove his ridiculously inept assertion.

Since going online in 2014 more than 1425 readers have viewed our re-examination of the Altdorfer weaving, and with good reason as it presents the only documentation implying an Anatolian kelim is 16th century or earlier.

There is no telling the depths rug-morons like fiorintino and bischof will delve to try and carve their initials on RK's research and work. But their transparent attempts to use us as a stepping-stone are in as plain view as their slipping and sliding down into the murkey waters of their own stupidity and ignorance.

'Nuff said

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