Antique Swedish Rya Rug signed I.L.

Circa 1930
Sweden, Europe
305 cm x 99 cm
10'0" x 3'3"

An original antique Swedish carpet woven in the Rya technique, that is with a hand-knotted, medium-high wool pile and with a considerable number of wefts between each row of knots, giving it a floppy handle and a texture similar to finer Moroccan rugs.
The pattern consists of diagonal rows of blue leafy plants, alternating with rows of plants containing a stylised botanical element, set against a striated celadon green background.
Swedish textile art of the 20th century is primarily a women’s craft. In this period of great creativity, many innovative weaving techniques had been developed by key figures such as Marta Maas-Fjetterström and Marianne Richter.
One of the leading female figures in the textile art scene, Marta Maas-Fjetterström (1873-1941) contributed greatly to the development of the modernist carpet by re-assessing a great number of weaving methods in her glorious workshop, including mixed flat-weave and knotting techniques. Her designs, based initially on more organic patterns, soon evolved towards a more experimental aesthetic, in keeping with the abstraction that characterised much of the visual arts of the period. Following her death, progressively conceived carpets were woven with her techniques yet designed by other artists. The IL monogram woven on the lower kilim end is the signature of the unidentified weaver, who was clearly influenced by the pioneering work of Marta Maas-Fjetterström.

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