Picturing History at the Ottoman Court

Picturing History at the Ottoman Court

Fetvaci, Emine
Distribution: World
Publication date: 02/06/2013
Format: Hardback 102 color illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00678-3
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2014 Koprulu Book Prize, Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association

The Ottoman court of the late 16th century produced an unprecedented number of sumptuously illustrated chronicles. While usually dismissed as imperial eulogies, Emine Fetvac demonstrates that these books commented on contemporary events, promoted the political agendas of courtiers as well as the sultan, and presented their patrons and creators in ways that helped shape the perspectives of their elite audience. Picturing History at the Ottoman Court traces the simultaneous crafting of political power, the codification of a historical record, and the unfolding of cultural change.

Author Bio

Emine Fetvac is Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Boston University.


An absolutely original work, full of good ideas and important points. Fascinating.One of the most profound examples of new directions in scholarship dealing with 'the book' and 'the text' of the past few decades. It shows an exceptional breadth of vision.

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Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration
1. Circulation, Audience, and the Creation of a Shared Court Culture
2. Making Books at the Ottoman Court
3. Sokollu Mehmed Pasha and Illustrated Ottoman Histories
4. Chief Black Eunuch Mehmed Agha: Negotiating the Sultanic Image
5. In the Image of a Military Ruler
6. A Venetian Ottomanized: Chief White Eunuch Gazanfer Agha and his Artistic Patronage

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