Home > Articles > Rug Articles > Bessarabian & Ukrainian Rugs Bessarabian & Ukrainian Rugs July 26, 2016 Bessarabian & Ukrainian Rugs Bessarabian & Ukrainian Rugs adminPP On one side, there is a monumental, centuries long tradition of middle eastern antique rugs. The Turkish kilims were especially influential because of the nearby Anatolia. On the other side, there is a huge impact of French neoclassical and rococo stylized rugs and carpets, as the Savonnerie and Aubusson manufactures’ aesthetics were highly appreciated by the Russian nobles. The historical region of Bessarabia is located in eastern Europe on the western shore of the Black Sea, bounded by the Dniester river on the east and the Prut river on the west. Currently Ukraine and Moldova are situated there. This part of the world is known for its massive traditions of weaving antique rugs and carpets. On top of that, the region is a place where two great influences meet. On one side, there is a monumental, centuries long tradition of middle eastern antique rugs. The Turkish kilims were especially influential because of the nearby Anatolia. On the other side, there is a huge impact of French neoclassical and rococo stylized rugs and carpets, as the Savonnerie and Aubusson manufactures’ aesthetics were highly appreciated by the Russian nobles. Although the exact origin of weaving in this area is unknown, we can probably link it to the Russian carpet weaving which began under the rule of the Peter the Great (1682 – 1725) and flourished during the reign of the Catherine the Great. The term Bessarabian rugs is usually used by scholars to define a flat-weave carpet, while knotted-pile rugs are called Ukrainian. Most of the Persian rugs are classified according to the specific region and its unique method of weaving. However, the categorization of the Bessarabian & Ukrainian rugs can be more baffling. The type of the weave does not give away any clues about the exact origin of the piece; it only informs about the target market (rural or urban). That is why the broader term is used. From the latter half of 17th century to the 19th French and Russian aesthetics and trends were having a great impact on the culture of south-eastern Europe near the Carpathian Mountains. Across the whole region the design of the rugs and carpets became more lavish. In comparison with the classic French style with a lot of rocaille details and a subdued color palette, Bessarabian and Ukrainian rugs are less formal and have a touch of local folklore and beauty. The artists who created these pieces granted a pinch of the eastern spirit to these regal rugs. They managed to achieve an elegant balance between grace and force, placing these unique flat weaves and knotted pile rugs among the most sought after decorative antique rugs and carpets. The French formal floral motifs were preserved but also slightly altered by the way the medallions and rich bouquets were composed. The drawing style was also reworked to bear a resemblance to the Russian still life paintings. The weavers often used more earthly tones and deep dark backgrounds for both medallions and all-over ornaments. The variations of colors were stronger than in western European style, more similar to the particular Armenian Karabagh rugs of Caucasus near the Russian border. The style of these rugs and carpets will definitely be suitable for both those who appreciate the opulent baroque look of Savonnerie and Aubusson rugs, and those who are attracted to more rustic, but still elegant, goods and pieces of eastern European art submerged in folklore. These magnificent rugs will make a wonderful dominant in classical as well as contemporary interiors. No wonder that many of the top international designers love them and use them as an icing on the cake in their most luxurious residential works.