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Arts of the Americas

This carpet is most likely a woman’s prayer rug (see illustration); men stood or kneeled but never sat on prayer rugs in church. Its design features a man and woman attended by an enslaved black figure in Oriental dress. The woman dons decidedly upper-class European attire; Spanish Creoles often turned to European styles, sometimes antiquated, to underscore their socio-racial and cultural ties to the Old World. The male figure, often read as the woman’s husband, wears European clothing that is much simpler than hers, suggesting that he may in fact represent another attendant.

Esta alfombra es probablemente un tapete de mujer para orar en la iglesia (ver ilustración); los hombres permanecían de pie o arrodillados pero nunca se sentaban en tapetes de oración en las iglesias. Su diseño muestra a un hombre y a una mujer atendidos por un esclavo negro vestido a la usanza oriental. La mujer viste un atuendo indudablemente de clase alta europea. Los criollos españoles frecuentemente elegían estilos europeos, a veces anticuados, para enfatizar su lazo socio-racial y sus vínculos culturales con el Viejo Mundo. La figura masculina, que suele percibirse como el marido de la mujer, lleva ropa europea más simple que la de ella, sugiriendo que en realidad podría ser otro de los ayudantes que acompañaban a la dama a la iglesia.

MEDIUM Wool and cotton
DATES 18th century
PERIOD Colonial Period
DIMENSIONS 53 x 39 3/4 x 1/4 in. (134.6 x 101 x 0.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. George E. Vincent
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CAPTION Rug, 18th century. Wool and cotton, 53 x 39 3/4 x 1/4 in. (134.6 x 101 x 0.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. George E. Vincent, 50.155. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 50.155_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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