During his tenure as Chief Royal Architect (1539-1588) in the "Golden Age" of the Ottoman Empire, Sinan designed hundreds of structures that helped create the renowned urban image of Istanbul, particularly mosques with seemingly weightless, light-filled centralized domes that have been compared with developments in Renaissance Italy. His distinctive architectural idiom left its imprint over a vast empire extending from the Danube to the Tigris, and he became the most celebrated of all Ottoman architects. In this lavishly illustrated, major new assessment of Sinan's oeuvre, Gulru Necipoglu challenges standard views of Sinan as a "Turkish Michelangelo" driven solely by an insatiable urge for artistic experimentation. Her innovative analysis shows that Sinan's rich variety of mosque designs sprang from a process of negotiation between the architect and his elite patrons, both men and women. Defined though they were by social and territorial hierarchies and associated notions of identity, memory, and decorum, Sinan's mosques simultaneously shaped these conceptions. The Age of Sinan draws on a wealth of primary sources to reveal the chief architect's monuments as bearers of previously unrecognized dimensions of meaning. A sophisticated study of the cultural and social history of Ottoman architecture, interpreting the oeuvre of a seminal figure in the early modern eastern Mediterranean world, it is must reading for scholars and students of art history and other fields with an interest in the Ottoman Empire.
Comparative Studies. Non-European Languages/Literatures