This fascinating introduction tells the story of Iznik ceramics through a wealth of illustrations.
Some of the greatest glories of Ottoman art are the luxurious ceramic vessels and splendid tiles made to decorate newly founded mosques and palaces by the Turkish pottery at Iznik (ancient Nicaea). Their designs combine purely Turkish motifs with elements ingeniously transposed from imported Chinese blue-and-white porcelain. Over time a more subtle painterly style and complex palette were developed, culminating in the brilliant combination of cobalt blue, turquoise, olive green, magenta and red, which became the internationally recognized Iznik hallmark.
Iznik ceramics were highly prized far beyond the Ottoman Empire, and although the factories had passed their peak by the late seventeenth century, their influence lived on through nineteenth-century European imitations by such potters as William de Morgan and Cantagalli.
Professor John Carswell retired as director of the Islamic Department at Sotheby’s. He was previously director of the Smart Museum and Curator of the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago and was professor of fine arts at the American University of Beirut for twenty years. He has written extensively on Turkish and Islamic ceramics, blue-and-white Chinese porcelain, and Islamic art and architecture. His publications include Blue-and-White: Chinese Porcelain Around the World.