Artworks of the Week: “Anadoluhisari” and “Turkish Wedding”


Artworks of the week as chosen from the exhibitions From Konstantiniyye to Istanbul: Photographs of the Anatolian Shore of the Bosphorus from the mid XIXth Century to XX Century and Sultans, Merchants, Painters: The Early Years of Turkish – Dutch Relations.

Abdullah Brothers No. 334
Albumen paper, 252 x 199 mm

“Bulbul Creek” marks the border between Kanlıca and Anadoluhisari. The small cove (korfez) into which the now-dried creek once flowed constitutes one of the smallest bays of the Bosphorus. The name korfez once brought to mind this small cove located between Kanlıca and Anadoluhisarı.

Having settled in the Bosphorus in the XIXth century, Halim Pasha of Egypt was famous for the moonlight excursions he organized in summer months. Boarding the market caïque decked with cushions and carpets, a group of musicians would sail into the Bosphorus. Each famous in their own right, the musicians would fill the quiet Bosphorus nights with their tunes; the boathouses of waterfront mansions would come alive and ladies would grab their dustcoats to sail out to sea behind the market caïque carrying Halim Pasha’s musicians. Legend has it that one could cross the Bosphorus from one shore to the other by jumping from caïque to caïque.

Views on the date of construction of the Anatolian Fortress vary. While Asık Pashazadeh offers the date 1390-1391, Nisanci Mehmed Pasha asserts that it was built in 1394-1395. However, it is certain that Bayezid I built the fortress between 1395 and 1397, after the conquest of Sile.

Turkish Wedding
Jean Baptiste Vanmour (1671-1737)
Oil on canvas, c. 1720-1737
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

A bride is led by a colourful procession to her groom’s house on the bank of the Bosporus. She is riding a horse, while four men hold a canopy to cover her. Walking directly in front of this is the imam, the religious leader who will conduct the marriage ceremony. The pyramid tower of ears of corn made of goldthread is a fertility symbol.

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