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Architecture And The Search For Ottoman Origins In The Tanzimat Period

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Chapter Summary

Following the European pattern, the development of the discipline of art history in the Ottoman Empire was largely concomitant to the rise and modification of nationalist ideology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This chapter, through a systematic and analytical investigation of building components and decoration, derives the "fundamental" principles of Ottoman architecture and provides the necessary guidelines for the Ottoman architect in his new revivalist task. Starting with the Tanzimat era, following the established pattern of European nationalist historiographies, the highly challenging task of historicizing a collective sense of Ottoman identity was carried out with increasing support from the emerging disciplines of philology, ethnography, archaeology, and art history. The material provided by these fields, as well as the new techniques of representation they offered functioned as potent instruments for achieving an empathic and "realistic" engagement with the past.

Keywords: European nationalist historiographies; nationalist ideology; Ottoman architecture; Ottoman identity; Tanzimat era



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