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Süleyman the Magnificent rides through Constantinople’s ancient Hippodrome in one of a series of designs for an array of sumptuous tapestries. Sadly, they were never to see the light of day. The designs were the work of the Netherlandish artist Pieter Coecke van Aelst and followed his remarkable journey to the heart of the enemy Ottoman Empire. Annick Born suggests Coecke had a hidden agenda, spying for his Habsburg masters.
The travels in the Ottoman Empire of Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502–1550), one of the most outstanding Netherlandish artists of the first half of the 16th century, constitute an extraordinary historical event and a milestone in his life. In 1533 he became the first draughtsman from the Habsburg Netherlands to visit Ottoman lands and to stay in Constantinople – moreover, at a time when the house of Osman was in conflict with the Habsburgs and allied with their sworn enemy, France. Painter, designer of tapestries and stained-glass windows, translator of the Books of Architecture by Sebastiano Serlio (1475–1554), Pieter Coecke was a versatile, talented artist, innovating in each discipline he embraced.
He was trained in the workshop of the Brussels court painter Bernard van Orley, and by 1526 had married into a wealthy artistic Antwerp family. His first wife, Anna, was a daughter of the painter Jan Mertens van Dornicke. Her brother-in-law was the landscape painter Jan van Amstel. In 1527, Coecke became a free master of the Antwerp Guild of St Luke, probably on the death of Van Dornicke, allowing him to take over his father-in-law’s workshop. He was steeped in the artistic life of Antwerp while maintaining connections with Brussels artists, especially those with links to the tapestry trade.
Peter Alford Andrews and his late wife, Mügül, set out to catalogue the traditional yurt – the ultimate portable dwelling. It became their life’s work.
An exciting new spirit of creativity is flourishing in Yeldeğirmeni – once a place of windmills and construction workers. But will this vibrant neighbourhood of Kadiköy be able to maintain its delicate balance of old and new? Katie Nadworny reports. Photographs by Monica Fritz
Today a ghost town in the middle of nowhere, a thousand years ago Ani was a bustling commercial city where East and West converged. By Robert Ousterhout. Photographs by Brian McKee
No wonder Aphrodisias was the Emperor Augustus’s favourite city in Asia. Famed for its exquisite sculpture and unsullied surroundings, for Patricia Daunt it is the most beautiful site in the classical world
In a chilly spring the apricot trees of Cappadocia were frothing with white blossom. By early summer the boughs would be heavy with fruit, to be eaten fresh from the branch, dried in the sun – or made into conserves like bottled sunshine for the cold winter months.
After a road trip like no other, taking in many of the best of Turkey’s burgeoning wineries, Kevin Gould and the Cornucopia tasting panel raise a glass (or several) and recommend the best of an impressive bunch
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