Iznik. The Artistry of Ottoman Ceramics.

Denny, W.B.

Hardcover with dustjacket. 240 pp. Very richly illustrated. Thames and Hudson 2015

Lavishly illustrated in full colour throughout, this is a panoramic overview of a spectacular and refined artform, presenting a new vision of one of the most internationally renowned Islamic artforms: Iznik ceramics.
Covering both Iznik pièces de forme and the famous Iznik tiles that decorate Ottoman imperial monuments, Iznik integrates the entire spectrum of Iznik production, both tiles and wares, and the broader artistic tradition in which it originated.

Denny begins with a description of the particular nature of Islamic art under the Ottoman empire, as well as the methods of the craftsmen who worked under the imperial auspices. He then examines the links between the court style of Istanbul and the ceramic ateliers in Iznik itself, and the crucial role of the dominant styles of the golden age of Iznik ceramics and their most famous creators, Shah Kulu and Kara Memi.

The book showcases the array of motifs – floral, vegetal and figurative – used on Iznik wares, looks at the relationship between non-Muslim communities and the Ottoman empire, and closes with an examination of the rich stylistic heritage that Iznik ceramics have given to Western art.

Walter B. Denny teaches art history at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and serves as Senior Consultant in Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He writes extensively on the art of Ottoman Turkey, and has been photographing the Middle East since he was fifteen.

    An Empire and its Art
    Islam and the Ottoman Artistic Accomplishment
    Artists in the Ottoman Empire: Craftsmen and 'People of Talent'
    The Beginnings of Ottoman Ceramic Art at Iznik
    The Ceramics of Iznik and the Ottoman Court Style
    The Emergence of Underglaze Tiles as Building Decoration
    Heavenly Gardens and Enchanted Forests in the Marketplace
    Depictions, Metaphors, and Vignettes
    Religious Functions and Iznik Ceramics
    The Patronage of the 'People of the Book'
    The Heavy Hand of History
    The Legacy of Ottoman Ceramics in East and West
    Meanings and Understandings
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