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pergamon museum

from Pergamon Museum in Berlin



İznik pottery


Around the middle of the 15th century, Ottoman workshops in the city of İznik, historical Nicaea, on the northwestern coast of Asia Minor, began to manufacture the finest pottery. Modelled on much-sought after precious Chinese porcelain, İznik pottery was decorated in blue on a white ground. Topkapi Sarray, the Sultan's palace in İstanbul still contains one of the most important collections of Chinese porcelain.


The İznik masters nto only used Arabic inscriptions and traditional arabesque patterns, but also followed their own traditions. The designs for the fine İznik pottery came from the nakkaşhane, the central court studio in Istanbul. The studio played an important role right up to the 18th century.


In the early 16th century, the palette was extended to include turquoise, green and purple. Palettes decorated in these colors are often lavishly adorned with flower and pomegranate patterns. The use of bole-red, derived from ferrous clay, brought about another decisive change in the palette. 16th and 17th century polychrome İznik pottery, which usually had a white ground, was a much-desired import article in Europe, where it was also copied.


From 16th century on, the İznik workshops mainly manufactured tiles, which were used to decorate palaces and the great mosques in İstanbul, as well as in the provincial towns. Combined to create large panels framed by narrow borders, they were decorated in Ottoman style, in the most beautiful patterns. Composition of tulips, carnations, hyacinths, roses, blossoming branches, grapevines, composite flowers, cloud bands, and arabesque patterns are characteristics.


A lunette tile panel from the Piyale Pasha building complex, erected in İstanbul in 1573, is a masterpiece. Twelve of these panels are know to exist in museums and collections. Each panel is composed of sixteen tiles. In the white middle field, two designs displaying a red cloud band spiraling leaf tendrils with fine blossoms are interwoven like carpet patterns.




Bergama - Pargauma - Pergamos

Bergama (Pargauma:People of High City) refers to a city and its surrounding district in İzmir Province, in the Aegean Region of the Republic of Turkey. Known for its cotton, gold, and fine carpets, the city was in ancient times the Ancient Greece and Roman cultural center of Pergamon; its wealth of ancient ruins continues to attract considerable tourist interest today.


For more information about Pergamon please visit Bergama @ Travel Turkey

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Taken on February 22, 2009