Iznik Tiles of Turkey
A Photographic Exhibit by Carolyn Brown
St. Matthew's Cathedral, 5100 Ross Ave., in Dallas
September 23 – December 31
Free parking and admission
Artist Reception on Tuesday, October 25, 6 to 8 p.m.
Artist Talk with Carolyn Brown at 7 p.m.
Chinese porcelain was imported into Turkey in the 14th century. During the 16th century, Iznik (historic Nicea) potters produced imitations of Chinese porcelain using cobalt blue and white, and a striking combination of colors which became typical in early Iznik pottery produced between 1470 and 1520. The designs used were a mixture of Chinese and Arabesque design.
Chini is the name given to a special quality of Iznik ceramic tiles and pottery produced in Iznik during the 15th and 16th centuries. These exquisite artworks represent the cultural and artistic zenith of the Ottoman Empire. The technique was passed on by a master to his apprentice, or from father to son, and thus no record of the artists involved has been preserved.
Wall tiles were not made in any quantity until the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-66). Some of the best examples are seen in Istanbul’s mosques, such as Rustem Pasha, the Sultan Ahmet (“Blue Mosque”) and the Topkapi Palace.
Made at the height of Iznik’s supremacy, the tiles include the famous red color that was the envy of other tile-makers (blue, yellow, white and green were easy to produce, but red was extraordinarily difficult). Red was also particularly important in order to represent the much-loved tulip.