The Nuruosmaniye Mosque and the Ottoman Baroque
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.
Artan, Tülay. “Istanbul in the 18th Century: Days of Reconciliation and Consolidation.” In From Byzantion to Istanbul: 8000 Years of a Capital, exh. cat., 300–312. Istanbul: Sakıp Sabancı Museum, 2010.
Ünver Rüstem, “Nuruosmaniye Mosque and the Ottoman Baroque,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 12 October 2020.
Ünver Rüstem is Assistant 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 received his PhD from Harvard University and has held fellowships at Columbia University, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard University. 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 such diverse subjects as the reception of illustrated Islamic manuscripts, ceremonial symbolism in the context of Ottoman architecture, and the distinctive funerary art of Ottoman Cyprus.