The Nuruosmaniye Mosque and the Ottoman Baroque

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The Nuruosmaniye Mosque and the Ottoman Baroque

Ünver Rüstem


Focusing on the imperial Nuruosmaniye Mosque (1748–55), this presentation explores the Ottoman Baroque, a new, globally resonant style of architecture that reshaped the Ottoman capital of Istanbul during the eighteenth century, when shifting political and cultural circumstances prompted the Ottoman court to develop novel strategies of self-representation. We consider this new building style—which offered a distinctly Ottoman take on the widespread Baroque aesthetic—not as a sign of decline or “Westernization,” but as a purposeful and locally rooted move that invoked Istanbul’s Byzantine heritage and utilized the cross-cultural expertise of native non-Muslim artists.


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Girardelli, Paolo. “Architecture, Identity, and Liminality: On the Use and Meaning of Catholic Spaces in Late Ottoman Istanbul.” Muqarnas 22 (2005): 233–64.

Hamadeh, Shirine. The City’s Pleasures: Istanbul in the Eighteenth Century. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2008.

Rüstem, Ünver. Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2019.

Suman, Selva. “Questioning an ‘Icon of Change’: The Nuruosmaniye Complex and the Writing of Ottoman Architectural History.” METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture 28, no. 2 (2011): 145–66.


Ünver Rüstem, “Nuruosmaniye Mosque and the Ottoman Baroque,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 12 October 2020.

Ünver Rüstem is the Second Decade Society Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at Johns Hopkins University. His research centers on the Ottoman Empire in its later centuries and on questions of cross-cultural exchange and interaction. He is the author of Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul (Princeton University Press, 2019) and has published articles and chapters on topics ranging from the reception of illustrated Islamic manuscripts to the funerary art of Ottoman Cyprus. At present, he is working on a new book project that explores the role of costume in Ottoman interactions with Western Europe during the early modern and modern periods.