HISTOIRE DE L'ART / ART HISTORY
Organisation du 10e CONGRES INTERNATIONAL D'ART TURC
The subject of the paper is a series of Ottoman Sultan's portraits and a number of paintings depicting prophets kept in the Topkapi Palace Museum Library.
Evliya Çelebi, the famous Ottoman traveller of the 17th century, mentions in his work a group of artisans named as "Esnaf-i Falciyan-i Musavvir" living in Istanbul. These artisans were hanging in their shop paintings produced by former masters which depicted Sultans, Prophets, land and sea battles and scenes from literary works like Yusuf Zulaykha, Layla Majnun, Farhad Shirin or Warka Gulshah. Evliya says the clients looking at these paintings and choosing one of them were informed about their fortune by "Esnaf-i Falciyan-i Musavvir" who recited a poem which was inspired by the theme of the painting. Actually this group of artisans were performing picture recitations.
Can the single images of prophets and Ottoman Sultans kept in the Topkapi Palace Museum Library be the works used by this group of artisans who were performing picture recitations ? Can they be a gift presented to a 17th century Ottoman Sultan ?
The paper tries to answer these questions and deals with the style, technique and iconography of the paintings depicting Ottoman Sultans and scenes with Prophets.