Lecture by Emine Fetvacı

Album making in seventeenth century Istanbul

Albums containing single-sheet images and calligraphies were popular in seventeenth century Istanbul, and album making was a practice shared by courtly and urban patrons alike. Albums made at the palace functioned in similar ways to imperial treasuries: they served as depositories of curiosities and marvels, and attested to the collecting abilities and the global reach of powerful rulers.

The Album of the World Emperor and European prints at the Ottoman court

This talk will examine a stunning album compiled for the sultan Ahmed I by his courtier Kalender Paşa around 1612. Titled The Album of the World Emperor, it contained Ottoman and Persian drawings, paintings and calligraphies and European prints. In the same year, the Ottomans and the Dutch finally signed a long-awaited trade treaty. This talk examines how and why these European prints were at the Ottoman court, and the role they played in the album.

  • date: Wednesday 31 July 2024
  • time: 16.00 – 17.00 (this lecture will not be broadcast via livestream)
  • location: Leemanszaal, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities)

Organized by The Lorentz Center

This lecture is organized by the Lorentz Center, as part of their workshop Biographies of Rulers in the Premodern Islamicate World, from 29 July until 2 August 2024. The Lorentz Center in Leiden is a workshop center where international scientific meetings take place.

About the speaker

Emine Fetvacı, PhD, is the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professor of Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College and the president of the Historians of Islamic Art Association. She is the author of Picturing History at the Ottoman Court (Indiana University Press, 2013) and The Album of the World Emperor: Cross-Cultural Collecting and Album Making in Seventeenth Century Istanbul (Princeton University Press, 2019). Her most recent project examines artistic connections between the Ottoman and Mughal Empires. Fetvacı is also the editor, with Erdem Çipa, of Writing History at the Ottoman Court (IUP, 2013). Her first book and the co-edited volume have both been translated into Turkish. Among other venues, her articles have appeared in the Art Bulletin, Ars Orientalis, and Muqarnas. She has held a Stanford University Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship as well as been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.


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Album lezing Loretz Center

Page from 'The Album of the World Emperor'