Like several other Turkish rug design types that were exported in quantity to Europe, the stepped, hooked gul depicted in rows on the present rug has been coined after a famous artist who depicted an example in his paintings. In this case it was the German artist, Hans Memling, who depicted such a rug in his still life, Maiolica Vase with Flowers, probably 1484-1494, now in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, Lugano. Other painters associated with specific rug patterns include Ghirlandaio, Bellini, Holbein, and Lotto. Such names must be recognised only as terms of convenience, however, for painters frequently depicted more than one type of rug over their careers and the named painter was in many cases not the first artist to represent that type.
The four-column configuration is the rarest among the Kazak 'Memling' gül group of carpets and the present rug does not disappoint in terms of its colour, condition or drawing. The absence of a single plain ground colour is replaced by a jostling frenzy of polychrome lozenges within each of the interstices between the columns of octagonal medallions which are so densely grouped together. A closely related example from this rare group sold at Rippon Boswell, 20 May 1995, lot 143. A similar 3-column example sold at Sotheby's New York, 15 December 1994, lot 58; a five column example was sold at Nagel, Stuttgart, 22 March 2011, lot 6, and another was offered at Sotheby's New York, 27 April 2000, lot 13. The symmetry of the squared grid in the present rug however is certainly the most effective.