Discover how an ambassador’s writings on harem life inspired the odalisques of Ingres, and how the Orient inspired Frederick Leighton’s interior design in a Victorian artist’s homage to Ottoman style. Patricia Daunt visits the Hekimbaşı’s yalı, Tim Beddow travels with his yurt; we explore the enchanted Lycian coast; and discover treasures in the Süleymaniye Library. Plus feasting on irresistible aubergines
When the intrepid Lady Mary Wortley Montagu travelled with her husband’s embassy to Turkey in 1716, she recorded the minutiae of life on the road and in her ‘new world’. . Remarkably open-minded, her innocent observations inspired Ingres to paint some of the greatest erotic masterpieces of the Romantic movement.
‘There are not so many places left where magic reigns without interruption,’ wrote Freya Stark in The Lycian Shore, ‘and of all those I know, the coast of Lycia was the most magical.’ Barnaby Rogerson went with Rose Baring and four-month-old Molly in search of enchantment. Photographs by Faruk Akbas
In the early nineteenth century the redoubtable Englishman John Barker built a country retreat in the province of Hatay, close to the present-day Syrian border, planting his estate with exotic fruit trees, watching over the British Empire’s Indian Mail, and entertaining guests with music on the mechanical organ. David Morray looks back on the golden age of ‘Suedia Hall’
The traditional tent of Central Asian nomads is a pleasure dome fit for the gods, says Tim Beddow
Hekimbaşı Salih Efendi was the last Chief Physician to the Ottoman court, a scholar and a reformer. But plants were his passion. His gardens have gone, but the house lives on. By Patricia Daunt. Photographs: Simon Upton
The Victorian painter Frederick Leighton went to extraordinary lengths to create his pink, black, blue and gold domed Arab Hall in London. By Caroline Juler with photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg
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