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Spring in Ottoman Art

The mid-16th century saw a return to naturalism in the Ottoman decorative arts, and one of the most popular motifs was fruit trees in blossom. This symbol of spring was often combined with tulips, roses and other flowers, and depicted sometimes as an entire tree and sometimes as branches alone. Another form was blossoming branches arranged like bouquet in a vase, or encircling a medallion like a creeper.

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Mahmud Celaleddin (d. 1829)

His date of birth is uncertain but he is known to have been born in Daghistan and to have arrived in Istanbul with his father Sheikh Murad Effendi at a very early age. Although his interest in calligraphy led him to apply to several calligraphers for lessons he was of such a difficult disposition that no one would accept him as a pupil and he was obliged to teach himself the art of calligraphy by examining calligraphic models and karalamas by the great masters. In Nashki he followed Hafiz Osman while in Thuluth and Jeli he created an individual style of his own.

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Mehmed ‘Dervis Mehmed’ (d. 1483)

Mehmed was the grandson of Mustafa Dede, the son of Sheikh Hamdullah. He learned the art of calligraphy from his father, from whom he also received his icazet. In Thuluth and Naskhi he imitated the style and character of the script used by his grandfather. He died ca. 1001 H. and was buried near the grave of his grandfather in the cemetery of Karacaahmet.

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