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Mosques of the Ottoman Empire: بايرام هديهسى. بدايع اثار عثمانيه


[Bayram Hediyesi. Bedayi-i Âsâr-ı Osmaniye. / Holiday Gift. Beautiful Ottoman Antiquities]


A stellar example of a richly illustrated art-historical guide of the most famous mosques of the Ottoman Empire from Istanbul to Mecca with superb illustrations by a famous late-Ottoman painter Hüsnü Tengüz.


8°. Original colour lithographed illustrated front wrappers, 110 pp. with mispagination skipping pp. 97-98, letterpress and lithographed images, one image hand-coloured, [4 pp.], interleaved five colour lithographed plates, later light brown cloth binding with gilt lettering on the spine (minor staining on the title page, otherwise in a good, clean condition).


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This highly decorative book represents the most famous mosques of the Ottoman empire rom Istanbul and Anatolia to Mecca on the Arabic Peninsula. The descriptions are accompanied with various views of the mosques, monuments connected with them and portraits of their commissioners.

The late Ottoman Empire, under the influence of the West Europe, especially Germany, brought new interests in the history of art. Many of the monuments also became easier and quicker accessible through the construction of new railroads through Anatolia and the Arabian Peninsula.

The book was published in 1919, a year after WWI, when many connections with the mosques on the Arabian Peninsula would be lost due to the damages on the railroad.

The illustrations were made by a brilliant Ottoman painter Hüsnü Tengüz (also Ressam Hüsnü or Hüseyin Hüsnü Tengüz). Hüsnü developed love for painting in his early years. He pursued a career of an artist, studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, parallelly with a military profession at the Naval Academy in Istanbul.

In the following years Hüsnü became one of the most prolific representatives of the so called Military Painters of the late Ottoman Empire. He was known for his paintings of the costumes, military parades, naval scenes and drawings.

Hüsnü Tengüz also authored a larger colourful map of the mosques of Istanbul, which was sold separately. This book did not contain the map and only includes a smaller black and white version of the main image in the text.

Ressam Hüsnü gathered his memoires in a book titled Sanat Hayatım (My Art Life), which was republished in 2005.

We could only find one institutional example on Worldcat (Univ of Toronto at Downsview)


References: OCLC 222400141. BDK – ÖZEGE; 1747; TBTK; 14431.

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