Turkish miniature paintings and manuscripts from the collection of Edwin Binney


Edwin Binney, "Turkish miniature paintings and manuscrs from the collection of Edwin Binney"
1973 | pages: 140 | ISBN: 0870990772 | PDF | 11,4 mb

Examples of the Turkish pictorial arts outside the Topkapu Saray Library in Istanbul are rare, partly because this art never achieved widespread support or appreciation within the Turkish empire. It was fostered only by the sultan's court and kept within the confines of the royal establishments. The fact that the Turks were Sunnis who followed the canonical law more strictly than for example the Iranians, may have a good deal to do with the limited number of existing works illustrated by Turkish miniature painters. Aided by his wide knowledge of the arts of the Near and Middle East, Dr Binney has been able to collect every form of Turkish painting, from a rare example of the late 15th century through the more numerous paintings of the 19th century, when the art showed increasing European influence. The collection contains historical accounts of the lives and deeds of earlier sultans as well as illuminated works depicting saints or legendary heroes. There are portraits of sultans and of handsome youths and maidens, renditions of historic buildings, decorative illuminations, and various forms of calligraphy. Although contemporary with that of Iran and Mughal India, Turkish painting was quite distinguishable, not only in its different forms of dress and headgear and the more formal presentation of the figures, but also in its more simplified and at times monumentalized forms of trees, landscapes, and architecture. The Turkish artist also had a keen eye for details, an attitude that led over time to realistic portrayals of figures and scenes. Such close observation eventually turned the artists to exaggeration, even caricature. All this helped to make Turkish painting unique, even though its heritage from Persian painting and its European influences are easily recognized. Dr. Binney's well-illustrated catalogue offers the general public and the student alike an excellent survey of Turkish painting and an insight into the special qualities of this diverse art.
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