Book gilding with Chinese clouds motifs.
Nakkaþ Hasan Pacha 16th Century
Decoration of all kinds was known as nakýþ, and applied to every area from architecture to the minor arts, from books to tiles, and fabrics to weapons.
Stylistically, nakýþ cannot be described as originating entirely in the decorative tradition of the Selçuk or Beylik periods, although their influence is visible. Similarly it is not heavily influenced by Persian or Byzantine arts. Instead its main sources of inspiration include the Mon gol Timarids, the Far East and the Turkmen states. Ottoman artists combined these sources of inspiration with their own traditions in a constant process of synthesis, recreating them in original forms
The Ottoman visual world took shape in the hands of designer-craftsmen of numerous types referred to as a whole as nakkaþ.
The focal point of this art, from which new ideas stemmed and where the finest artists were trained, was the Palace Nakka5hane or design shop. Here the styles, forms and tastes which were disseminated to the outer most frontiers of the empire were shaped, developed and taught In a sense the Nakkaþhane was the creator of the Ottoman visual identity
Ottoman decorators were involved in the design and application of decorative work in a wide range of fields, and had various names according to their field of specialisotion;
Musavvir nakkaþ executed miniature paintings, and other types of genre and portrait pointing.
Tarrah were responsible for designing the layout of book pages, and also executed pktures of gardens.
Müzehhip executed illumination for books, calligraphic panels and diverse objects.
Cetvelkeş executed the ruled borders of manu-scripts and repaired damaged popes.
Ressam executed ink and brush drawings.
Ottoman nakkaþ learnt the secrets of their art from their masters, just as they had learnt from mas-ters before them, practising what they learnt by means of me5k exercises until their art was an inherent part-their being.
They worked for years in an almost mystic adherence to their art.
Despite this traditional structure which might be assumed to have encouraged inertia, decorators were always receptive to new influences and new materials. Because while being attached to accepted forms and traditions an the one hand, on the other the winds of creative freedom exerted an astonishing effect on this art form.