Iznik tiles in Audience Chamber, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul. CC public domain.

Online study days

Istanbul: City of Faith, Power and Beauty

  • Begins: Monday 16 October 2023
    Until: Tuesday 17 October 2023
    (10.45am-1pm each day - a recording will be available to ticketholders for one week after the event)
  • Lecturer: Dr Antonia Gatward Cevizli

Istanbul’s skyline changed dramatically in the years following Constantinople’s conquest by the Ottomans. This study day begins by examining Sultan Mehmed II’s attitude to the city’s Byzantine past and especially to the Haghia Sophia. We will consider his attempts to bring prosperity back to the city and make it a worthy capital of empire; Topkapı Palace and the Grand Bazaar are among the buildings that will be examined in this context. The long and successful reign of Süleyman the Magnificent will be another area of focus since it was a Golden Age for Ottoman Art and Architecture. We will explore the impressive Süleymaniye Mosque, the ubiquitous art of Iznik ceramics, Sultanahmet (known as the Blue Mosque) and some lesser-known treasures. The day will provide an in-depth exploration of how the Ottomans communicated ideas about themselves, their power and their place in the world through their art and architecture.

1   The Conquest of Constantinople and the Making of Istanbul
2   Topkapı Palace: Power and Empire Communicated in Stone
3   Architect Sinan in the Service of Süleyman the Magnificent
4   The Wonder of Iznik Ceramics

NB: Links to access recordings of the two-part event will be sent to all ticketholders after the second half and will be available for one week.



Dr Antonia Gatward Cevizli is an independent art historian who teaches for the V&A Academy, The Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School and the National Gallery. Her publications focus on cultural and diplomatic exchange between the Italian city-states and the Ottomans. She has lived in Siena, Venice and Istanbul.

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