The Aesthetics of Empire: Arts, Politics, and Commerce in the Construction of Sultan Süleyman’s Magnificence
By Gülru Necipoğlu, Harvard University
February 21, 2020
Indiana University, Bloomington
University Club, President’s Room
This lecture considers how a perspective of the empire of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman (r. 1520-66), seen through the lens of visual culture, presents a rather different picture from official written sources. Necipoğlu focuses on the first half of the youthful sultan’s reign, when expansion into Central Europe and Italy constituted the main priory, and concludes with an epilogue that zooms into the elderly Süleyman’s changing priorities. Ultimately, the aim is to remind us of the cosmopolitanism of court culture before a mature Ottoman idiom in the arts and architecture was codified by the late 1540s.
Gülru Necipoğlu is the most prominent Islamic art historian of her generation. She is Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art at Harvard University (where she earned her PhD in 1986), and specializes in the medieval and early modern periods, with a particular focus on the Mediterranean basin and Eastern Islamic lands. Necipoğlu’s public lecture at the University Club will be the third and final installment of the “Other Renaissances” lecture series.
This event is presented by the Renaissance Studies Program with generous support from the College Arts + Humanities Institute, the College of Arts + Sciences, the Islamic Studies Program, the Department of Art History, and the Robert E. and Avis Tarrant Burke Foundation.
Associate Professor of French
Director, IU Renaissance Studies Program