Sounds of Ottoman Istanbul echo in Amsterdam exhibit

Amsterdam's medieval Nieuwe Kerk or new church offers a walk through Ottoman Istanbul: the bazaar, the hammams, and the sultan's court are all ingeniously recreated in the exhibition Istanbul. The City and the Sultan.

Sounds of Ottoman Istanbul echo in Amsterdam exhibit

"We want this presentation to be like a stroll, have people get lost in the different parts or map out a trip from the mosque to the library and then to the cemetery, just like real tourists," Marlies Kleiterp, curator of the Nieuwe Kerk, said.

Until the show ends April 15 next year the austere church will show not only the splendor but all facets of daily life in Istanbul between the fifteenth and twentieth century.

"In recent years there have been many exhibitions dedicated to Turkish culture ... we wanted to do something different so we decided to focus on the Ottoman period," Kleiterp explained.

There are some 300 objects on show from the collections of Turkey's renowned museums - like the Topkapi Palace Museum - and from Dutch archives and museums.

Visitors can see an over seven-meter (20-foot) long parchment with a city view meticulously showing the Golden Horn, the body of water that separates Istanbul's new and old town, by Danish painter Melchior Lorck who lived in the city between 1555 and 1559.

On one of the banks the Agia Sophia and its terra-cotta colored walls rise up. In the foreground a throng of sail boats cover the water. It is the first time that such a large part of the work is shown.

"The original is over 11 meters long but we are already thrilled that the library of the University of Leiden [central Netherlands] has agreed to lend us this part," curator Kleiterp said.

To recreate Istanbul the architectural firm Kosman De Jong installed wall hangings in bright colors with geometric patterns used on Iznik china, reproductions of miniatures, or inscriptions and calligraphy.

Each space shows part of the Ottoman culture like the "Tekke" where believers of the Sufi mystical Islamic sect meditate through zikr, the ritual repetition of the names of Allah and whirling dervishes who execute their rhythmic dances turning infinite circles.

In the bazaar visitors face a wall of blue, white, and red plates. Loudspeakers crank out the sounds of Istanbul's markets today while the other side of the wall is covered with plastic utensils in pink, green, or blue. They are Chinese imports that show the selection of the city's bazaars nowadays.

In the coffee house water pipes sit on low tables as Karagoz and Hacivat, a satirical shadow play with puppets that was very popular up until the early twentieth century, lights up a movie screen.

In the eighteenth century Sultan Ahmed III "had a long visit with a Dutch ambassador because he was crazy about tulips," curator Kleiterp said with a knowing wink. The tulip, that the Netherlands is so well known for, was imported to the country from Asia minor.

Istanbul. The City and the Sultan runs until April 15, 2007 in The Nieuwe Kerk on Amsterdam's Dam square.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16