Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire by Gülru Necipoglu (Reaktion Books)

Brushing aside skewed orientalist and nationalist readings which have coloured many previous studies of his work, the author, using original documentation, provides the most detailed written study ever, of not only Sinan's architecture, but also, arguably, of Ottoman culture, politics and society in the classical age ... Necipoglu's book is a publishing landmark; an astoundingly rich work that, as boldly states on the back cover, "is unlikely ever to be superseded." 

Without question, The Age of Sinan is one of the most remarkable architectural biographies ever written and the book Sinan's life and work richly deserves. Prospect magazine this truly marvellous book, which brings together the skills of an architectural historian, linguist and archival researcher, represents a profound advance over and above all previous studies in the field. In its comprehensiveness, its insights, and its careful and close readings of both monuments and documents, Necipoglu's book provides an indispensable and much needed point of reference ... a true tour de force, one that will instruct and inspire not only students, but also seasoned scholars in the field, serving as a model and as a challenge for many years to come. Journal of Islamic Studies a remarkable work of synthesis ... Gulru Necipoglu has compiled and reordered all the useful observations made previously; she has re-examined the standard sources, viewing them critically but without obvious prejudice; and she has added an immense amount of information gleaned gleaned from the buildings themselves, and from a wide range of narrative sources. 

The results can be enlightening. Cornucopia magazine The effort that has gone into the research and compilation of this publication is remarkable ... an essential text for anyone with a serious interest in architecture. Architectural Review Besides opening new avenues in studies of Ottoman architecture, The Age of Sinan provides an enjoyable reading not only for Ottoman historians but also those who are interested in Ottoman culture and architecture in general. Journal of the Faculty of Architecture The long awaited book on Mimar Sinan by Gulru Necipoglu ... offers a major new interpretation of his architecture that places him in the context of his time... The drawings in this book are of the highest quality ... Indeed, this is one of the most comprehensively illustrated books on architecture that I have ever seen ... This is an outstanding book -- Henry Matthews An historical and sociological tour de force, this book is written - and written very well - with authority, skill, and grace. The scholarship is of the highest order. Gulru Necipoglu is simply the most technically accomplished, historically minded, and most important historian of Islamic art working today. This book will become the definitive study of Sinan - and of his age in cultural production

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