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Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey


Small size pictures created by engraving an incident, a piece of information or a story on paper in two dimensions are called miniature.

Miniature art from among Turkish-Islamic arts bridges the gap of depiction and story caused by the fact that three dimensional painting is disapproved in the Islamic belief in that it reflected the identity of the era. Miniatures focused on topics such as topographic drawings, ceremonies, festivals or weddings.

The word "minyatür" (miniature) was derived from the word lead oxide known as minimum, its name in Latin, which was used in the middle age for red ink production. Another theory suggests that the word gained the meaning of "small painting" with the effect of "minor", a Latin word meaning small in the course of time. Miniature, which developed as book painting art, does not look out for principles such as anatomy, depth, light and shadow and lacks perspective and dimensioning.

Oldest examples of the Turkish miniature art, found at archives of Topkapı Palace, include miniatures dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries before Turks adopted Islam, where Uyghur princes and princesses as well as Mani and Uyghur priests are being depicted. One unique property of Turkish miniatures is that colors are used in a straight, bright manner freed from shadows, frequently as a means of abstraction.

During the Ottoman Empire era, miniature art was referred to as embroidery or depiction in its early days, and anyone performing this art used to be called nakkaş (miniature artists) or musavvir (literally, shaper), yet name miniature was used in subsequent periods. Turkish miniature art differentiated from miniature art of other Islam countries due to developments of Suleiman the Magnificent era. One of the reasons for such differentiation is the fact that this art turned into an official position under the name of painting of conquers and campaigns, acceptance of foreign ambassadors, religious festival celebrations and şehnâmeci (a person tasked with writing official history of the state). Miniature art kept pace with the westernization trend of the 19th century and was gradually replaced by classic Western painting.

On behalf of Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey and Uzbekistan “Miniature Art” was registered to UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanityon behalf of Turkey in 2014.

You, too, may examine the rarest examples of miniature art at our store page.

Istanbul Handicrafts - Miniature

Examples of the works of our artists;

The artists performing miniature art in Istanbul Handicrafts Center are as follows:

Bedia Ünman
Bedia Ünman was born in Istanbul in 1944. The artist, who has been teaching within the scope...
Bedia Ünman
Mihrican Naldöven
Born in Istanbul, Mihrihan Naldöven graduated from Istanbul University in 1981. She started the...
Mihrican Naldöven
İffet Koç
Born in Tokat, İffet Koç started her career at the General Directorate of Mint and Stamp Printing...
İffet Koç
Büşra Taşpınar
Büşra Taşpınar Nebioğlu was born in 1990 in Sakarya. She graduated from Mimar Sinan ...
Büşra Taşpınar
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Tukan Ajans