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The Art of Travel, Bartholomäus Schachman 1559–1614
There was great demand among travellers and diplomats for records of life in the Ottoman world in the 16th century. One fascinating pictorial record is an album dated 1590, commissioned by Bartholomäus Schachman (1559–1614), who was a traveller and collector as well as being mayor of Gdansk. He journeyed through the Ottoman Empire between 1588 and 1589, and the resulting album is now part of the collection of the Orientalist Museum in Qatar. It was exhibited in Gdansk this summer. The exhibition, which has a sumptuous accompanying book, reopens in Doha in November (2012).
Schachman himself can be seen in a portrait attributed to Anton Möller. He holds a handkerchief in his right hand (propbably a symbol of power), a rapier in his left, and below are the Latin words “Praeconsul Gedanensis …Equitem at capitaneum Hollandiae” (Mayor of Gdansk… knight and captain of the Dutch).
Schachman was born in Danzig, as Gdansk was then, an autonomous Hanseatic League city within the kingdom of Poland. It was a vital trading post for Dutch merchants at the time, and Möller was the most famous artist active there. The Schachmans (literally “chessmen”, as reflected in their coat of arms) were from Hungary and had arrived in Danzig in the 15th century.
Bartholomäus was educated in Krakow and Danzig, Strasbourg and Siena, and travelled widely in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. His Ottoman adventure coincided with the reign of Murad III, who opened up the empire, commissioning portraits by Venetian artists and exchanging letters with Elizabeth I of England.
Olga Nefedova is the Director of the Orientalist Museum, Doha. www.qma.com.qa
The Istanbul diaries of Gertrude Bell, now available online, reveal her astonishing transformation from socialite to scholar and political observer. By Robert Ousterhout
As Turkey and the Netherlands celebrate 400 years of diplomatic relations, Henk Boom highlights the twenty turbulent years that Frederik Gijsbert, Baron van Dedem spent as ambassador to Constantinople
Simple on the outside, some wooden village mosques had an added portico reminiscent of galleries opening onto the courtyards of private houses in the region. Inside, pillared halls and colourful painting on the wooden structure and on the walls make for a warm, joyful space. Photographs by Tarkan Kutlu
Abdülhamid I and Osman III’s private quarters in the Topkapı. Photographed by Fritz von der Schulenburg
Sagalassos, the remote site in southern Turkey where a giant statue of Emperor Hadrian was discovered five years ago, is the driving passion of Marc Waelkens. The Belgian archaeologist, whose new book is now available from Cornucopia, talks to Thomas Roueché about his pioneering work as director of excavations
The best table grapes in Istanbul are the fragrant, delicate skinned çavuş from the northern Aegean island of Bozcaada, ancient Tenedos, and the sweet sultaniye grapes from around Izmir.
Maggie Quigley-Pınar describes a book of photographs that evoke the spirit an almost-forgotten modern era: Istanbul in the 1970s
John Carswell pays tribute to his friend Honor Frost, doyenne of underwater archaeology
James Crow on Istanbul’s amazing system of aqueducts
The landmark 2012 exhibition at the Tokpapı Palace, and the sumptuous book that accompanied it.
They were stigmatised and despised, and eventually they were closed down. But what would Turkey be today without the Village Institutes, its bravest educational revolution, and the young people they empowered? Maureen Freely tells the moving story of the institutes, the subject of a new book and exhibition
The lethal mischief of Canon MacColl, by David Barchard
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