New book: Architecture and Material Politics in the Fifteenth-century Ottoman Empire

Patricia Blessing's picture

My new book, Architecture and Material Politics in the Fifteenth-century Ottoman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), is now available as an ebook, Print publication to follow in late August for UK/European market and in November for US orders. 

Abstract: In this book, Patricia Blessing explores the emergence of Ottoman architecture in the fifteenth century and its connection with broader geographical contexts. Analyzing how transregional exchange shaped building practices, she examines how workers from Anatolia, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Iran and Central Asia participated in key construction projects. She also demonstrates how drawn, scalable models on paper served as templates for architectural decorations and supplemented collaborations that involved the mobility of workers. Blessing reveals how the creation of centralized workshops led to the emergence of a clearly defined imperial Ottoman style by 1500, when the flexibility and experimentation of the preceding century was levelled. Her book radically transforms our understanding of Ottoman architecture by exposing the diverse and fluid nature of its formative period. It also provides the reader with an understanding of design, planning, and construction processes of a major empire of the Islamic world.

Patricia Blessing
Assistant Professor, Islamic Art History
Department of Art & Archaeology
Princeton University