Humanities and Arts

CAMERA, CANVAS, AND QIBLA: LATE OTTOMAN MOBILITIES AND THE FATIH MOSQUE PAINTING

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Doi:  https://doi.org/10.1163/22118993-00381P09

2022-04-05

Abstract

As with many cultures around the globe, in the nineteenth century the Ottoman empire witnessed a fluidity of media, styles, objects, technologies, and themes in visual culture. Sultans’ portraits migrated across canvases, ivory, manuscripts, photographs, prints, and porcelain; curtain motifs featured in tents, wall paintings, and architectural decorations; new and “neo” architectural styles spread via world expositions and cityscapes; depictions of buildings and landscapes reconfigured wall paintings, tombstones, ceramics, textiles, and cutout paper (ḳāṭʿı) works.1 The long tradition of depicting the Islamic holy cities also responded to these artistic and cultural changes, and images energetically circulated across different regions in shorter periods of time.2 Even though Mecca and Medina are physical places, their depictions—and by extension, the holy cities themselves—effectively traveled to far-flung audiences.