Iranian-Chinese textiles impact on Italian peers depicted in some 14th-century Tuscan paintings



Iranian Textiles, Chinese Iconography, Italian Fabrics, Simone Martini, Spinello Arentino


The influence of Chinese art, following the conquests of Mongols, is visible in other countries’ arts, including Italian textiles and paintings of the 14th century. These influences can be approached from two perspectives: the exported Chinese products through the Silk Road. The following perspective is the Ilkhanid Dynasty’s reign in Iran, who tried to expand their political and commercial relationships with the western countries, especially Italy, to confront Egyptian Mamelukes as their common enemy. Ilkhanid’s main merchandise was silk textiles representing a combination of traditional Persian and Chinese iconography that were distinctive characters compared to the original Chinese works. The impact of these textiles on Italian fabrics could be examined using both preserved samples kept in museums and the fabrics illustrated in the paintings. The present article, using by descriptive-analytical method, shows the effect of Ilkhanid art on 14th century Italian fabrics using selected paintings of that era in Tuscany province. As a result, it can be said that the presence of oriental iconography had become a visual culture in Tuscan paintings in the 14th century.


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