Located in the heart of Old Istanbul, the Verni Art Salon is in the middle way between Little Hagia Sophia Mosque and Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Mosque. The three-storey building served as a depot for shipbuilding supplies and boatyard during the Ottoman era.
Restored faithfully to its original form, the gallery’s ground floor hosts the selection of valuable antiques like samovars, cooking pots and traditional boxes for bathing supplies. Further ahead is a display of antique furniture from Damascus, as well as works by Iznik and Kutahya ceramic artists, inspiring interior solutions for lovely house. Verni is the only point of sale of pieces from the valuable collection of Nahide Küçük, who gave her name to an entire period in traditional Turkish embroidery.
The lower floor deals with silk carpets as well as kilims and similar weavings. The other section is devoted to the largest collection of Azerbaijani wool rugs in Istanbul. On the third floor, its main hall offers works by renowned artists of the Turkic world, many of whose works are displayed in in world’s museums and private collections. The second hall is set aside for monthly workshops and meetings.
There is an ongoing debate about the exact date and place of the emergence of the art of Ebru. We find marbled papers as the endpapers in books which date to centuries ago (Figure 1 & 2). Marbled paper had also been used as borders and frames for manuscripts (Figure 3).
Although we have the information about the date the books are written, we cannot be sure of the date of production of the marbled papers, since the books have undergone restoration for several times. Hence, we only take as reference those marbled papers which have on them the date of their production or some caligraphy inscribed. Examples of hafif (light) ebru, a type of ebru that involves light and pale colors and serves as a background for manuscripts, is important for the study of history of ebru.
The oldest ebru, a Malik-i Deylemi text, dates back to 1554 (Figure 4). Hafif ebru requires a rather advanced technique and experience. Therefore, it is assumed that ebru has emerged in as early as 15th century, considering the concrete evidence we have.
In one issue of Pallete magazine of Switzerland (vol.30, 1969), Mehmet Ali Kağıtçı claimed that there exists an ebru in the archives of Topkapi Palace Museum which has an iscription that dates back to 1447. However, the document was never acquired due to the lack of references. Unfortunately, the books about the traditional Turkish handcrafts do not provide information on ebru and the speculations about its history continue. Discovery of new documents is needed.
Topkapı is the subject of more colourful stories than most of the world's museums put together. Libidinous sultans, ambitious courtiers, beautiful concubines and scheming eunuchs lived and worked here between the 15th and 19th centuries when it was the court of the Ottoman empire. A visit to the palace's opulent pavilions, jewel-filled Treasury and sprawling Harem gives a fascinating glimpse into their lives.
The Hagia Sophia, the biggest church constructed by the East Roman Empire in Istanbul, has been constructed three times in the same location. When it was first built, it was named Megale Ekklesia (Big Church); however, after the fifth century, it was referred to as the Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom). The church was the place in which rulers were crowned, and it was also the biggest operational cathedral in the city throughout the Byzantine period.
The colourful and chaotic Grand Bazaar is the heart of İstanbul's Old City and has been so for centuries. Starting as a small vaulted bedesten (warehouse) built by order of Mehmet the Conqueror in 1461, it grew to cover a vast area as lanes between the bedesten, neighbouring shops and hans (caravanserais) were roofed and the market assumed the sprawling, labyrinthine form that it retains today.
The Süleymaniye crowns one of İstanbul's seven hills and dominates the Golden Horn, providing a landmark for the entire city. Though it's not the largest of the Ottoman mosques, it is certainly one of the grandest and most beautiful. It's also unusual in that many of its original külliye (mosque complex) buildings have been retained and sympathetically adapted for reuse.
The Orthodox Patriarchate is situated in Fener in the Church of St. George (Agios Georgios) in Istanbul on the Golden Horn area (Haliç). It is the highest religious see for the Orthodox population of the world today. The history of the Patriarchate during the Ottoman period dates back to the era of Fatih Sultan Mehmed. After Byzantium was conquered by Mehmed II in 1453, one of the first things the Sultan wanted to achieve was to reinvigorate the City, which would be the new capital of the Empire. Simultaneously with the immense efforts of construction, Christians, Muslims and Jews from all over the Empire were being transferred to Istanbul for repopulation.
Nejat Çuhadaroğlu’s, the founder’s, passion for painting, sculpture and model making started at his early ages. His passion grew in time and became a journey with hard work and joy.
Military and ethnographic artifacts belonging to the Ottoman period (1453 – 1923) are presented in the museum. Furthermore, the museum, which brings the unique heritage of the country as well as its lost rings into light, is enriched with dioramas and mannequins picturing the related periods of history.
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