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Ottoman Painting: Reflections of Western Art from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic

Ottoman Painting: Reflections of Western Art from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic

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The late Ottoman Empire witnessed widespread and dramatic reform, which was vividly reflected in its visual culture. However, while other political and social developments in this period have received much attention, the interaction between Ottoman and Western artists and artistic practices is less widely understood. Ottoman Painting explores fully this complex and fascinating relationship for the first time, using vivid examples and drawing many intriguing and original connections. Wendy M. K. Shaw demonstrates how during the 19th century - the very era when rapidly proliferating modernist artistic movements in the West were giving up traditional styles, techniques and functions of art - artists in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey were harnessing these discarded traditions as a novel and modern means of communication. And far from being simply slow in embracing modernity, Ottoman art tells the story of a different kind of avant-garde, representing a cultural revolution. Ottoman Painting is an important corrective to a Western-dominated view of the art history of an era and a stimulating addition to our understanding of the cultural life of the late Ottoman Empire.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Notes on Orthography and Nomenclature
1. From Old Niches to New Paintings
2. Digesting Western Art: The Academy and Realism
3. A New World of Art
4. Art Goes Public
5. Ten Long Years of War
6. Art for a New Nation

Author Info

Wendy M. K. Shaw is a Professor of Art History in the Department of Art History and the Center for Cultural Studies Program in World Arts at the University of Bern, Switzerland. She is the author of Possessors and Possessed: Museums, Archaeology, and the Visualization of History in the Late Ottoman Empire. Her research interests lie particularly in the history and theory of institutions of art and visual culture at the intersections of cultural identity.


In this theoretically rigorous and meticulously researched book, Wendy Shaw brings new interpretations to late Ottoman-early Turkish Republican art. Considering the entanglement of artistic production with issues of nationhood, history, and modern identity, and using the concept of 'translation as painting', she examines the work of Ottoman painters in reference to European movements. Along the way, she introduces a wide compendium of artists, discusses the institutional frameworks, and draws insightful conclusions that shed light on the dilemmas of the present-day art scene in Turkey.
– Zeynep Çelik, Distinguished Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd

ISBN: 9781848852884
Publication Date: 29 Oct 2010
Number of Pages: 224
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 83 integrated b/w, 12pp colour plates

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