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Ottoman Miniature

Posted by Majesty on September 25, 2023

Ottoman miniature or Turkish miniature was a Turkish art form in the Ottoman Empire, which can be linked to the Persian miniature tradition, as well as strong Chinese artistic influences. It was a part of the Ottoman book arts, together with illumination (tezhip), calligraphy (hat), marbling paper (ebru), and bookbinding (cilt). The words taswir or nakish were used to define the art of miniature painting in Ottoman Turkish. The studios the artists worked in were called Nakkashanes. During the reign of Mehmed II, a court workshop called Nakkashane-i Rum that also functioned as an academy was founded in Topkapı Palace in Istanbul to create illuminated picture manuscripts for the Sultan and the courtiers.

The reigns of Suleyman the Magnificent (1520–1566) and especially Selim II (1566–1574) in the second half of the 16th century were the golden age of the Ottoman miniature, with its own characteristics and authentic qualities. Nakkaş Osman (often known as Osman the Miniaturist) was the most important miniature painter of the period, while Nigari developed portrait painting.

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