Starting from the return of the court to Istanbul in 1703, the Ottoman capital has witnessed an intense architectural and urban revitalization, comparable only to that undertaken by Mehmed II following the conquest of the city. However, if the latter prepared the culmination of the canons of the “Classical Ottoman architecture” which were already being formulated in the previous decades, what was peculiar about this new flourishing is the radical abandon of the traditional forms and schemes. This architectural and urban renovation took place in a moment which was characterized by an unprecedented intensity of cross-cultural interaction between the Ottomans and Western Europe, thanks to newly established diplomatic ties, growing commercial exchanges and most importantly, a wider mobility of professional figures and know-hows. These interactions led to a rather unique phenomenon of transculturation in the Early Modern history, breaking the religious borders of the Mediterranean and reaching the utmost evidence in the field of architecture. Like the European interest for turqueries, the architects of the Ottoman capital started merging their traditional architectural vocabulary with that coming from the West, mostly from France and Italy. Starting from the early 1740s, the so-called Ottoman Baroque was created, establishing its own distinctive language from the very first works. This dissertation deals with the sources of the 18th-century renewal of the Ottoman architectural and urban culture with a new approach to the material. First and foremost, the primary tool of this research is the architecture itself, and therefore the material is substantially the built heritage. Thus, this work is a new attempt to “decode” the architectural culture of the period exploring the single novelties in their own contextuality. In opposition to the previous scholarship, which mostly followed a long-established deductive method or limited the area of interest to single case studies, the present dissertation searches a new analytical approach with the aim of reaching a more complex panorama of the period. In other words, if the “Ottoman Baroque” has always been understood starting from a broad historic perspective which never fully faced the problematic question of its possible origins and the extent of the familiarity of its creators with the West, this study follows the opposite path. The mythical and generic “Western Baroque /Rococo” origins of the new influences are thus questioned on both major and minor scales, starting from typological issues reaching to more ‘grammatical’ aspects of the single elements. After an introduction setting the scene, the architectural types which were newly invented or underwent a relevant reconsideration constitute the main chore of the Part II. The equally important Part III deals with the single components of the architectural order as intended in the Western context, trying to understand the changing Ottoman approach to the matter. Other than the methodological approach, two aspects distinguish this research. The first one is the reconsideration of the importance of the Italian cultural sphere on that of the Ottomans, both via direct contacts between the various Italian states and the Sublime Port and the indirect yet more relevant connections especially with Venice. In this panorama, the possible role of Crete and other Aegean islands is thoroughly discussed on every occasion. The in-depth architectural analysis of single novelties allows to demystify the ties with France, which so far seem to have been over-emphasized by the scholarship. As we shall discuss, till the last quarter of the century and the establishment of formal professional institutions; forms, schemes and know-hows originating from the Italian cultural area seem to have played a pivotal role in the formulation of the “new style”, at least as much as France did. The second point is the reexamination of the “problem” of diachrony between the two contexts. Referring to the architectural renewal of our period of interest as the “Ottoman Baroque/ Rococo” has misled the scholars to an illusion of synchronicity with the Western homeland of those artistic phenomena, while the chronological parallelisms are in fact quite limited and concern mostly the decorative aspects. What is particular about this period is a rather neglected feature: throughout this accelerated transculturation process, the contemporary European forms made their way alongside with some minor Medieval and Early Renaissance influences, in addition to a reconsideration of the local Late-Antique and Byzantine heritage with a brand-new set of references. Thus, as each paragraph of the dissertation will explore, the Ottoman “new” reveals much of the Western “old”; actually, an important part of the novel vocabulary is based on European elements which would have seemed rather archaizing in their homeland. This will also lead the reader to reconsider the importance of the provinces as well as the non-academical professional milieus in this turbulent process of self-refreshing. The outcome of this research is a complex and multilayered panorama of the 18th-century Ottoman architecture both in the capital and in the major provincial ‘epicenters’. The radical change which we observe in the morphological and typological vocabulary, and the decorative and artistic repertoire is questioned from multiple perspectives and scales. Far from being a complete and exhaustive work, this dissertation tries to set a different methodological approach to the material and open a new window on a historical phenomenon which is extraordinarily complex and hard to decipher.

Il rinnovamento dell’architettura ottomana attraverso gli scambi culturali con l’Italia e la Francia nel XVIII secolo / Metin, Alper. - (2022 Oct 21).

Il rinnovamento dell’architettura ottomana attraverso gli scambi culturali con l’Italia e la Francia nel XVIII secolo

METIN, ALPER
2022

Abstract

Starting from the return of the court to Istanbul in 1703, the Ottoman capital has witnessed an intense architectural and urban revitalization, comparable only to that undertaken by Mehmed II following the conquest of the city. However, if the latter prepared the culmination of the canons of the “Classical Ottoman architecture” which were already being formulated in the previous decades, what was peculiar about this new flourishing is the radical abandon of the traditional forms and schemes. This architectural and urban renovation took place in a moment which was characterized by an unprecedented intensity of cross-cultural interaction between the Ottomans and Western Europe, thanks to newly established diplomatic ties, growing commercial exchanges and most importantly, a wider mobility of professional figures and know-hows. These interactions led to a rather unique phenomenon of transculturation in the Early Modern history, breaking the religious borders of the Mediterranean and reaching the utmost evidence in the field of architecture. Like the European interest for turqueries, the architects of the Ottoman capital started merging their traditional architectural vocabulary with that coming from the West, mostly from France and Italy. Starting from the early 1740s, the so-called Ottoman Baroque was created, establishing its own distinctive language from the very first works. This dissertation deals with the sources of the 18th-century renewal of the Ottoman architectural and urban culture with a new approach to the material. First and foremost, the primary tool of this research is the architecture itself, and therefore the material is substantially the built heritage. Thus, this work is a new attempt to “decode” the architectural culture of the period exploring the single novelties in their own contextuality. In opposition to the previous scholarship, which mostly followed a long-established deductive method or limited the area of interest to single case studies, the present dissertation searches a new analytical approach with the aim of reaching a more complex panorama of the period. In other words, if the “Ottoman Baroque” has always been understood starting from a broad historic perspective which never fully faced the problematic question of its possible origins and the extent of the familiarity of its creators with the West, this study follows the opposite path. The mythical and generic “Western Baroque /Rococo” origins of the new influences are thus questioned on both major and minor scales, starting from typological issues reaching to more ‘grammatical’ aspects of the single elements. After an introduction setting the scene, the architectural types which were newly invented or underwent a relevant reconsideration constitute the main chore of the Part II. The equally important Part III deals with the single components of the architectural order as intended in the Western context, trying to understand the changing Ottoman approach to the matter. Other than the methodological approach, two aspects distinguish this research. The first one is the reconsideration of the importance of the Italian cultural sphere on that of the Ottomans, both via direct contacts between the various Italian states and the Sublime Port and the indirect yet more relevant connections especially with Venice. In this panorama, the possible role of Crete and other Aegean islands is thoroughly discussed on every occasion. The in-depth architectural analysis of single novelties allows to demystify the ties with France, which so far seem to have been over-emphasized by the scholarship. As we shall discuss, till the last quarter of the century and the establishment of formal professional institutions; forms, schemes and know-hows originating from the Italian cultural area seem to have played a pivotal role in the formulation of the “new style”, at least as much as France did. The second point is the reexamination of the “problem” of diachrony between the two contexts. Referring to the architectural renewal of our period of interest as the “Ottoman Baroque/ Rococo” has misled the scholars to an illusion of synchronicity with the Western homeland of those artistic phenomena, while the chronological parallelisms are in fact quite limited and concern mostly the decorative aspects. What is particular about this period is a rather neglected feature: throughout this accelerated transculturation process, the contemporary European forms made their way alongside with some minor Medieval and Early Renaissance influences, in addition to a reconsideration of the local Late-Antique and Byzantine heritage with a brand-new set of references. Thus, as each paragraph of the dissertation will explore, the Ottoman “new” reveals much of the Western “old”; actually, an important part of the novel vocabulary is based on European elements which would have seemed rather archaizing in their homeland. This will also lead the reader to reconsider the importance of the provinces as well as the non-academical professional milieus in this turbulent process of self-refreshing. The outcome of this research is a complex and multilayered panorama of the 18th-century Ottoman architecture both in the capital and in the major provincial ‘epicenters’. The radical change which we observe in the morphological and typological vocabulary, and the decorative and artistic repertoire is questioned from multiple perspectives and scales. Far from being a complete and exhaustive work, this dissertation tries to set a different methodological approach to the material and open a new window on a historical phenomenon which is extraordinarily complex and hard to decipher.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1657334
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