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Constructing and Representing the Past in the Ottoman Royal Atelier: A Synthetic Treatment of Sixteenth-Century Historiography and Illustrated Manuscript Production (CoRPORA)
Start date: Dec 1, 2013, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project is a synthetic treatment of sixteenth-century Ottoman historiography and the production of illustrated manuscripts in the Ottoman royal atelier. It focuses on the drafting and editing stages of production, and the relations between patrons, historians and artists.Two sets of manuscripts will be examined in detail: (1) The corpus of the historian Nasuh-i Matraki from the 1520s-1550s and (2) manuscripts containing the narratives of Caucasian campaigns written in the 1580s and 1590s. In each case, questions of intended messages and readership/audience will be addressed with careful consideration of the final illustrated products against their drafts and the annotations on them. The production of illustrated histories will be further examined in social context with the help of archival documents.The project proposal includes extensive training of the researcher in handling Ottoman illustrated manuscripts and analyzing them in terms of physical qualities (paper, binding, ink etc) and artistic style.

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