Modernism: Paris and Berlin

In the West-oriented educational setting of the 1920s, as part of the Ministry of Education’s initiative to send successful students abroad to help them gain […]

A Passion for Flowers in Ottoman Culture

Plate, İznik, ca. 1580-1600. Ceramic.

Plate, İznik, ca. 1580-1600. Ceramic.

You can explore Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi’s remarkable collection at the Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi (1899 – 1984): Architectural Historian, Restorator, Collector exhibition. This time on the blog we take a look at the importance of flowers in Ottoman culture…

The importance given to flowers in Turkish culture was reflected in the art of every period. Stylized until the first quarter of the 18th century in Ottoman decorative arts, flower motifs attained an unprecedented popularity, giving way to a relatively more Naturalist style during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730), commonly known as the “Tulip Era.”

Rose Depictions, early 18th century. Paper, illumination paint, gold.

Rose Depictions, early 18th century. Paper, illumination paint, gold.

“Çevre” (embroidered kerchief),
İstanbul, first half of the 19th century. Cotton fabric, silk thread, gold thread.

Born out of the influence of Indian-Babylonian art and often depicted as bouquets –and sometimes single– flowers attained a certain depth (third dimension) and movement through the impact of the Western Baroque style as of the Tulip Era. Works of architecture, tombstones, as well as the fountains that became increasingly popular during this period, and all areas of decorative arts –most notably the art of illumination– evolved into a garden of colors filled with roses, tulips, hyacinths, carnations, freesias, and fritillaries.

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