AN OTTOMAN EROTIC MANUSCRIPT FROM THE 1790s
İrvin Cemil Schick, École des hautes études en sciences sociales
Online talk, Wednesday, December 7th, 12:30pm EST
Silsila Fall 2022 Series, Body and Senses
Received opinion holds that Ottoman miniature painting was moribund by the early eighteenth century, Levnī (d. 1732) being its last great exponent. This is a misconception due in large part to the unwillingness of many art historians to give erotica the attention it deserves. An Ottoman manuscript recently acquired by the David Collection (Copenhagen) and produced in Shumen (in present-day Bulgaria) around the turn of the nineteenth century contains some eighty-five high-quality illustrations, many of which are of an erotic nature. The text brings together a number of well-known erotic works of both poetry and prose, and the degree of accomplishment exhibited by the miniatures suggests that the manuscript may not have been an isolated case.
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