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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

Article

Marianne Barrucand

[‛Alawī; Filālī]

Islamic dynasty and rulers of Morocco since 1631. Like their predecessors the Sa‛dis, the ‛Alawis are sharīfs (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad), and both dynasties are sometimes classed together as the ‘Sharifs of Morocco’. From a base in the Tafilalt region of south-east Morocco, the ‛Alawi family was able to overcome the centrifugal forces exerted by the Berber tribes who had destroyed the Sa‛di state in the first half of the 17th century. To restore political authority and territorial integrity, Mawlay Isma‛il (reg 1672–1727) added a new black slave corps to the traditional tribal army. Although royal power was weak during the 19th century and the early 20th, when the French and Spanish established protectorates, the ‛Alawis’ power was fully restored after independence from the French in 1956.

‛Alawi building activities (see Islamic art, §II, 7(v)) were concentrated in the four cities that have served as their capitals: Fez and Marrakesh at various times from ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Şeker Ahmet Pasha]

(b Üsküdar, Istanbul, 1841; d Istanbul, 1907).

Turkish painter. In 1859 he became an assistant teacher of painting at the Military Medical High School in Istanbul. In 1864 Sultan Abdülaziz (reg 1861–76) sent him to Paris where, after a preparatory education at a special Ottoman school, he studied painting in the studio of Gustave Boulanger and then under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Ahmet Ali was also instrumental in the acquisition of paintings from France for the Ottoman court. After nearly eight years of studies in Paris, he stayed in Rome for a year before returning to Istanbul, where he resumed his work at the Military Medical High School. In 1873 he organized in Istanbul the first group exhibition of paintings by Turkish and foreign artists to be held in Turkey. He was later appointed master of ceremonies at the Ottoman court and by the time of his death had risen to the office of intendant of the palace. His paintings were influenced by European art. They include landscapes, such as ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Walker)

(b Devonport, April 19, 1864; d London, June 9, 1930).

English Orientalist and historian of Islamic painting. He was attracted to Oriental studies while reading classics at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was inspired by Edward Cowell and William Robertson Smith. From 1888 he taught philosophy at the Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, India. With the appearance of his Preaching of Islam (1896), an account of the spread of Islam, he achieved high academic acclaim and in 1898 became professor of philosophy in the Indian Educational Service, teaching at Government College, Lahore. He returned to London in 1904 to become assistant librarian at the India Office Library, where he studied illustrated manuscripts and made significant purchases. He also taught Arabic at University College. In 1909 he was appointed Educational Adviser for Indian Students in Britain and after 1917, as secretary to the Secretary of State, was responsible for Indian students. When he retired from the India Office in 1920...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[Pers. ‛Ashqābād; formerly Ashkhabad Askhabad, Poltoratsk]

Capital city of Turkmenistan. Lying in an oasis south of the Karakum Desert, the city was founded in 1881 on the site of a mountain village (Rus. aul). Linked by rail with the Caspian coast in 1885, it developed rapidly as the center of the Transcaspian region at the turn of the 20th century and became the capital of the Turkmen republic in 1924. It suffered greatly from earthquakes in 1893, 1895 and 1929; following complete destruction by the earthquake of 6 October 1948, the city was rebuilt during the 1950s and 1960s.

Saparmurat Niyazov (generally referred to as Turkmenbashi, or leader of the Turkmen), president from 1985 to 2006, used the revenues from huge gas reserves to lavishly embellish the city with grandiose monuments of gleaming white marble and gold. Civic structures include not only the palace, government offices and an exhibition center, but also the Arch of Neutrality, a large tripod in front of which stands a gold statue of Turkmenbashi that rotates to face the sun. Religious structures include the Azadi Mosque, which resembles the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and the Kipchak Mosque, said to be the largest in Central Asia. The National Museum of History (...

Article

Stephen Hill

(Margaret Lowthian)

(b Washington, Co. Durham, July 14, 1868; d Baghdad, 11/July 12, 1926).

English archaeologist and architectural historian. The first woman to achieve a first-class honours in modern history at Oxford University, she travelled widely in Europe, Japan and especially the Middle East in the 1890s, achieving fluency in a number of European languages as well as in Persian, Turkish and Arabic. She developed an interest in archaeology and architecture that was reflected in an authoritative set of articles on the Early Byzantine churches of Syria and southern Turkey, based on her travels in 1905. Her first major travel book, The Desert and the Sown, contains a mixture of travellers’ tales and archaeological information, as does her Amurath to Amurath. Between 1905 and 1914 she made archaeological studies of the Early Byzantine and Early Islamic monuments of Turkey, Syria and Mesopotamia (now Iraq). In 1905 and 1907 she surveyed Binbirkilise with Sir William Ramsay; their book, The Thousand and One Churches, remains the authoritative account of this important site. The architectural recording by survey and photography at Binbirkilise was carried out by Bell and is a lasting monument in its own right. Bell’s interest in Anatolia was inspired by Josef Strzygowski and his book ...

Article

Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

(b Alexandria, 1873; d Athens, 1954).

Greek patron. A Greek cotton merchant, Benaki was born at a time when the memory of the War of Independence (1821–9) inspired strong feelings of nationalism in Greeks living abroad. Benaki assembled a collection of objects—art, crafts and souvenirs—that expresses the historical continuum of Greece and pride in the Greek cultural heritage. in 1926 he moved permanently to Athens where in 1930 he founded the Benaki Museum, inaugurated the following year when Benaki presented his collections, along with what had been the Benaki family home in Athens and substantial funds for its maintenance, to the Greek government. Benaki had supervised the transformation of the house into a museum, wanting to preserve the intimate atmosphere of a family home; he continued to work towards maintaining and enriching the museum until his death. The Benaki Museum’s collections include examples of the antique and Byzantine art for which Greece is traditionally best known, as well as icons from Cyprus, Muslim art representing the Ottoman Empire, souvenirs from the war of independence and examples of national costume from all over the country. The Islamic material—principally ceramics and textiles from Egypt and the Ottoman Empire along with gold jewellery—was spread over two rooms on the first floor and one on the second....

Article

Oleg Grabar

(b Geneva, March 16, 1863; d Geneva, March 13, 1921).

Epigrapher and historian of Islamic art and archaeology. Born to a well-to-do and intellectually active Genevan family of bankers (the scholar of linguistics Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913) was a cousin), van Berchem was educated as a philologist and historian in Geneva, Germany and France. He combined the intellectual traditions of France and Germany and belonged to a supranational brotherhood of wealthy scholars independent of political or other contingencies. In 1889 he travelled through Egypt, Palestine and Syria and became convinced that ‘a well-studied monument is of greater value than the best text’. He discovered that the inscriptions typical of Islamic urban architecture provided an extraordinary documentation on everything from the means of construction and date to symbolic and esoteric meanings. This discovery, honed by other trips, led to a series of articles on what van Berchem called ‘l’archéologie arabe’, still the most profound statements about the methods of explaining classical Islamic architecture in context. Van Berchem also persuaded the French Academy to sponsor the series ...

Article

Douglas Lewis

(b Paris, March 21, 1837; d Paris, Sept 29, 1914).

French connoisseur and collector. In 1862–4 he served as secretary to his uncle, who was working on the construction of the Suez Canal, and in Cairo made notable acquisitions of Islamic art, which he later donated to the Louvre, Paris. On 29 November 1872 he purchased from the painter Charles Timbal (1821–80) 155 important early Renaissance sculptures, reliefs, small bronzes and paintings, collected by Timbal over the previous 20 years in Florence. To this nucleus Dreyfus occasionally made additions, in particular of bronzes: two sculptures that his heirs gave to the Louvre, the marble bust of Diotisalvi Neroni (c. 1465) by Mino da Fiesole and the bronze group of St Jerome with the Lion (1490s) by Bartolomeo Bellano, epitomize the principal strengths of his collection. Dreyfus’s reputation, however, rests on his achievement as a connoisseur and collector of Renaissance medals and plaquettes. Although barely two dozen bronze reliefs, and only a dozen medals, had been included in the purchase from Timbal, Dreyfus left two incomparable collections: one of almost 700 medals (one of the richest ...

Article

Lale H. Uluç

(b Istanbul, ?June 24, 1861; d Istanbul, Nov 16, 1938).

Turkish museum director and historian. He was the youngest son of the grand vizier Ibrahim Edhem Pasha (?1818–93), who was one of the first Ottomans to be educated in Europe. His elder brother was the painter Osman Hamdi. Halil Edhem was schooled in Berlin, Zurich, Vienna and Berne, where he received his doctorate in natural sciences and chemistry. He also studied history and archaeology on his own initiative and spoke French, German, Turkish, Arabic and Persian. On his return to Istanbul in 1885, he became a civil servant and taught natural sciences in several schools as a volunteer. In 1892 he became vice-director of the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul and in 1910 on the death of the former director, his brother Osman Hamdi, he was promoted to director. Both the Museum of the Ancient Orient and the Topkapı Palace Museum were opened to the public during his tenure. He organized the ...

Article

Article

Walter B. Denny

(b Godalming, Jan 1834; d London, Feb 19, 1919).

English collector. Godman was among the first Western private collectors of medieval Islamic ceramics. With energy, an uncanny eye and the courage to invest considerable sums, Godman collected some of the most important and beautiful examples known as well as several important inscribed and dated works. Godman’s rivals in the highly competitive and expensive market for Ottoman and Hispano-Moresque ceramics included George Salting and John Henderson (1797–1878). Godman’s interest in Islamic ceramics doubtless led him to commission Morgan, William De to make a fireplace in the ‘Persian’ style for Godman’s residence, South Lodge, at Horsham, W. Sussex. After his death, Godman’s daughters loaned generously to major exhibitions of Islamic art and continued their father’s tradition of hospitality to scholars. Many of these, notably Arthur Lane, used examples from the Godman collection to forge the fundamental scholarship on Islamic ceramics. On the death in 1982 of Miss C. E. Godman, the collection was transferred to the ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Edhem, Osman Hamdi; Hamdi Bey]

(b Istanbul, Dec 30, 1842; d Eskihisar, Gebze, nr Istanbul, Feb 24, 1910).

Turkish painter, museum director and archaeologist. In 1857 he was sent to Paris, where he stayed for 11 years, training as a painter under Gustave Boulanger and Jean-Léon Gérôme. On returning to Turkey he served in various official positions, including two years in Baghdad as chargé d’affaires, while at the same time continuing to paint. In 1873 he worked on a catalogue of costumes of the Ottoman empire, with photographic illustrations, for the Weltausstellung in Vienna. In 1881 he was appointed director of the Archaeological Museum at the Çinili Köşk, Topkapı Palace, in Istanbul. He persuaded Sultan Abdülhamid II (reg 1876–1909) to issue an order against the traffic in antiquities, which was put into effect in 1883, and he began to direct excavations within the Ottoman empire. As a result he brought together Classical and Islamic objects for the museum in Istanbul, including the Sarcophagus of Alexander, unearthed in Sidon in ...

Article

Yuka Kadoi

Apart from a short-lived introduction of paper currency in Ilkhanid Iran under the inspiration of Chinese models, paper money was virtually unknown in the Islamic world until the mid-19th century, as the right to strike Coins was one of the most traditional and important symbols of sovereignty. The Ottoman Empire was one of the first Islamic states to issue machine-made banknotes during the 1850s, as part of its modernization policy. As Western standards of administration, including the modern banking system, were put in force, paper money began to be circulated in Iran in 1890 by the Imperial Bank of Persia, and most of the other Muslim countries followed this trend along with their independence from Western countries in the early 20th century. Like coinage, paper money was regarded as an effective means of legitimizing political aspirations in the Islamic world, due to its state monopoly and worldwide circulation. Banknotes well reflected socio-political backgrounds, and their design was intended to proclaim Islamic identity, emphasizing Arabic or Persian calligraphy in parallel with Latin transliterations, as well as images of important antiquities, such as archaeological sites and historic mosques. Following Western models of paper money, portraits of rulers and politicians were also included. Despite a general antipathy toward figural representations, life-like depictions of public figures in banknotes served as iconographic propaganda....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Kemalettin Bey]

(b Istanbul, 1870; d Ankara, July 1927).

Turkish architect. He studied at the College of Civil Engineering in Istanbul, graduating in 1891, and at the Charlottenburg Technische Hochschule in Berlin (1896–8). After his return to Turkey in 1900, he taught at the College of Civil Engineering in Istanbul and became chief architect of the Ministry of Pious Foundations (1909), entrusted with the restoration of historical monuments and the design of new buildings. This work enabled him to analyse the principles of Ottoman architecture and formulate a revivalist idiom. He built mosques, mausoleums, office blocks, schools, prisons and hospitals; the small mosque (1913) at Bebek, Istanbul, is a fine example of his revivalist style. The Fourth Vakıf Han (1912–26), a large seven-storey office block in Istanbul’s Bahçekapı district, epitomizes Ottoman revivalist architecture, also known as the First National Architectural Style (see Islamic art, §II, 7(i)). Its well-ordered stone façade with rich carvings and coloured tiles hides a sophisticated steel framework. His last building complex in Istanbul, the Harikzedegan apartments (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Robert)

(b Stockholm, May 8, 1868; d Cairo, April 13, 1933).

Swedish diplomat, scholar, collector and dealer. In 1884 he became assistant at the ethnographical museum in Stockholm, and by 1890 he was assistant at the archaeological museum. He combined his interests in ethnography and archaeology on a visit to Siberia (1891–2), publishing his findings in L’Age du bronze au Musée de Minoussinsk. He then turned to Islamic art, travelling widely and collecting in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Egypt and Turkey. He began to acquire Islamic book paintings at Bukhara in 1894 and in the following year sold 387 oriental manuscripts to the University Library at Uppsala. In the winter of 1896 he excavated at Fustat (Old Cairo), returning with several thousand ceramic fragments. In 1897 he exhibited his collection at Stockholm. About this time he formed the opinion that manuscripts had been the chief disseminators of ornamental motifs in the Islamic world. From 1903, when he was attached to the Swedish Embassy in Istanbul as dragoman, he acquired a number of precious manuscripts and albums, and he also probably formed in these years a collection of etchings of views of Istanbul, portraits of sultans and political pictures that went to Lund University. He published ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[Arie, Aryeh]

(b. Stanislav [now Ivano-frankivsk, Ukraine], 12 Jan. 1895; d. Jerusalem, April 6, 1959).

Israeli historian of Islamic art. Born in a city that was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Mayer studied at the universities of Lausanne, Vienna and Berlin and received his Ph.D. at Vienna in 1917 for a thesis on town planning in Islam. A staunch Zionist, he emigrated to Palestine in 1921 where he served as inspector and then librarian in the Department of Antiquities for the Government of Palestine under the British Mandate. When Hebrew University, Jerusalem, was established in 1929, he was appointed lecturer in Islamic Art and Archaeology, and then in 1932 the first Sir David Sassoon Professor of Near Eastern Art and Archaeology. From 1935 to 1949 Mayer was the first local director and also dean and rector of the School of Oriental Studies.

Mayer was interested in many aspects of Islamic art, including coins and works from the Mamluk period. A fine Arabist, he wrote many articles on Arabic epigraphy for the ...

Article

Article

Gordon Campbell

German glass manufactory. In 1866 the German glassmaker Fritz Eckert (c. 1840–c. 1905) founded a factory in Petersdorf, Silesia (now Pieszków, Poland). At first the factory specialized in historical styles ranging from Islamic designs to enamelled 17th- and 18th-century German Humpen. In 1890 a group of original designs in opaque glass known as ‘Cyprus glass’ was introduced, and from ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[Arab. taṣwīr, fūtūgrāfiyā ; Ottoman Turk. taṣwīr ; Mod. Turk. fotoğrafçilik ; Pers. ‛akkāsī, fūtūghirāfī

Term used to describe the technique of producing an image by the action of light on a chemically prepared material. Although used privately in France and England as early as 1833, the process was announced publicly only in 1839.

In January 1839 François Arago (1786–1853), a member of the Académie des Sciences, suggested that among the advantages the new medium presented was that the millions of hieroglyphs covering the monuments of Thebes, Memphis and Karnak could be copied by a single man rather than by scores of draftsmen, and in 1846 the English photographer and scientist William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–77) published a pamphlet with three prints of hieroglyphics for distribution among ar-chaeologists and Orientalists.

The Ottoman press reported the discovery of photography as early October 1839, and European colonial involvement in the Islamic lands of North Africa and West Asia ensured that photography was immediately brought there: for example, in ...