In this first full-length study devoted explicitly to the examination of Ottoman/Turkish-inspired architecture in Western Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Nebahat Avcioglu rethinks the question of cultural frontiers not as separations but as a rapport of heterogeneities. Reclaiming turquerie as cross-cultural art from the confines of the inconsequential exoticism it is often reduced to, Avcioglu analyses hitherto neglected images, designs and constructions; and links Western interest in the Ottoman Empire to notions of self-representation and national politics. In investigating why and to what effect Europeans turned to the Turk for inspiration, Avcioglu provides a far-reaching cultural reinterpretation of art and architecture in this period. Presented as a series of case studies focusing on three specific building types”kiosks, mosques, and baths”chosen on the basis that each represents the first full-fledged manifestations of their respective genres to be constructed in Western Europe, the study delves into the cultural politics of architectural forms and styles. The author argues that the appropriation of those building types was neither accidental, nor did it merely reflect European domination of another culture. The process was essentially dialectical, and contributed to transculturation in both the West and the East.
Winner, CAA Millard Meiss Publication Fund Grant
'I can say without reservation that I believe this work has the potential to change business as usual in art history.' Mary Sheriff, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, USA
'… a consistent strength of the book is that Avcioglu presents her arguments and methodology so lucidly.' Art History
'Today, as Islam and its visual signs - whether discussed through minarets in Switzerland or veils in France - remain an important trope in considering the Islamic other as a means of defining the European self, Avcioglu’s work provides a brilliantly considered exploration of the vicissitudes of meaning long invested in European architectural and visual signs of alterity.' International Journal of Islamic Architecture
Contents: Introduction; Part I The Kiosk: The sense of power and the image of the Ottomans; Exoticism and the politics of the Other within. Part II The Mosque: Describing empire: nature, culture and the exotic. Part III The Hammam: Utilitarian architecture, philanthropy and orientalism. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.