Beyazid II at His Throne



Celebi Mehmet



Festivities of the Golden Horn


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The terms of the age were: "Nakis-miniature; nakkaspainter, miniaturist; tasvir-depiction; m´savvir-depicter; nakkashane/nigarhane-workshop; kalemi siyah-pencil; sebil yazmak-to portray; tahr-composition; tarrah-designer of the composition; endam-symmetry, balance; nakkasan group of miniaturists. The beauty of the Turkish miniatures spring from the contours and the sense of colour. The paper straightened by a heavy press was covered by red lead. The finish consisted of egg-white, starch, lead carbonate, gum tragacanth, salt of ammonia. The finished paper had a luminous appearance and it was creamy in colour. After the text and tables were completed, the paper was handed to the miniaturists to be painted. The miniatures were divided as 1)Illustration of books, compositions (depiction of certain subjects and events) and 2)portraits. The subjects of the miniatures were as follows: Shahname and Shehinshahname-The public and private lives of rulers, their portraits and historical events; Shemaili Ali Osman-portraits of rulers; Surname-pictures depicting weddings and especially circumcision festivities; religious subjects (Siyer-i Nebi); Shecaatname-wars commanded by pashas; Iskendername-in ancient Moslem belief Alexander the Great is considered a prophet; Humayunname-epics, heroic deeds and animal fables; literary works and folk stories such as Leyla and Mecnun; anthologies; the world of botanies and animals, scientific books on alchemy, cosmography and medicine; technical books; love letters; horoscopes translations.The miniatures in the translations were sometimes directly copied from the original and sometimes they were authentically made. In such cases, ones should know the different styles of the other Moslem miniatures such as Iran and India. Kaaba depictions, sports and especially horse-riding scenes took place in the Turkish miniatures.

Portrait of Murat III. "Important Characters in History, 1583" The clear and simple expression attained a magnificent style by plain drawing and colours. There was neither lyricism nor idealism, but only realism based on close observation. There were humorous expressions of daily life. This expressionist style revealed itself in a very few lines in the moving bodies. Refined details were rare. The purpose was to reflect and attain the best within simplicity. The combat order were shown on war miniatures. It is understood that the miniaturists joined those campaigns. The artists did not consider perspective and the third dimension. They portrayed people in straight profiles or from the front instead of the three fourth profile seen in Persian miniatures. The relation between nature, objects and figures was not taken into consideration. The relation between nature, objects and figures was not taken into consideration. The important point was the main theme. The secondary themes and scenes were complementary to the composition. The borrowed look of the figures indicate that they were the ordinary individuals of protocol in every period.

Pride, faithfulness and anxiety signified the order of the state with a humorous approach. The composition and the contours were worked attentively. The order of places was very important. Realistic scenery and topographic views were rare. Artists like Matrak_i Nasuh who depicted the Iraqian campaign of S´leyman the Magnificent with details of the resting places and the Mediterranean ports, were very few.

The colours were obtained by powdered dyes mixed with egg-white. The colours were strikingly brilliant. Contrasting colours were used side by side with warm colours with an avant-garde approach in colour selection. In nature depictions spots of colour were used. The colour nuances of the same shade were masterly applied. The most used colours were bright red, scarlet, green and different shades of blue. The domes were painted pale blue. The way black, white, yellow and gild were used liberally had a special quality. Gild was used in architectural details, in the background and the ground of calligraphic works. The sky and clouds were never depicted in their natural colours. Turkish art of miniature, as all the other handcrafts, followed the historical line of the state and had its golden age during the 16th century. Turkish-Islamic Art; The Miniatures of the Zubdat-al-Tawarikh.

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