Istanbul viewed : the representation of the city in Ottoman maps of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Starting from the premise that maps are essentially about visualizing space, this dissertation examines what the Ottoman maps of Istanbul reveal about the city's perception, as it evolved in connection to urban development after the conquest. The maps that form the subject of this study appear as illustrations in three manuscript books. The Istanbul maps contained in Mecmu'-i Menazil (1537-8) and HiinernAme (1584) respectively mark the beginning and the accomplishment of the city's architectural elaboration. The other twenty maps, featuring in manuscript copies of Kitab-i Bahriye (1520s), roughly span the period between 1550 and 1700. The variants of a design fixed around 1570 offer an image that fulfills its topographic elaboration in the late-seventeenth century. While the making of this map's design relates to Istanbul's sixteenth century urban development, its topographical elaboration reflects a new perception of the city. These picture-maps, produced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, form a unique group of documents as the only known Ottoman pictorial representations showing the city as a whole. As revealed by the context of the books containing them, their making relates both to Ottoman Empire's territorial expansion and to the appropriation of Constantinople as its new capital. Their cartographic language combines, in different manners, the familiar conventions of Islamic miniature painting with artistic forms encountered and assimilated during territorial expansion, particularly in contact with Venice.(cont.) Especially the making of the Istanbul maps in Kitfb-i Bahriye copies illustrates the crucial role of the Mediterranean seafaring culture, its navigation manuals, nautical charts and island books. These images of Istanbul can be related to the development of the urban landscape and its symbolic function. Their study as cartographic representations pays attention to both accuracy and emphasis in their topographic contents. Supported by contemporary European visual sources and travel accounts as well as Ottoman topographic and poetic descriptions of Istanbul, the viewing directions, the depictions of buildings, and the overall cartographic composition in these maps are interpreted as features shaping a symbolic landscape that developed from an ideal vision to an actual garden-like urban environment, structured by land, water, and architecture.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2001.Includes bibliographical references (p. 361-395).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology