Step into the world of the most celebrated architect of the Ottoman Empire

By  Krutika Behrawala | Mumbai | Posted  08-Sep-2017

Suleymaniye Mosque captured by Kamil Firat
Suleymaniye Mosque captured by Kamil Firat

Most travellers to Istanbul pay a visit to the historic Sultan Ahmed Mosque, better known as The Blue Mosque. However, just 20 minutes away is another marvel, Suleymaniye Mosque, considered one of the largest mosques ever built during the Ottoman empire. The Byzantine architectural masterpiece has a massive central dome, pierced with 32 openings, which illuminate the mosque's interiors. It's the work of the celebrated Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan (1490-1588).

Sehzade Mosque
Sehzade Mosque

If you're keen to know more about the master, drop in at an exhibition curated by Rachana Sansad's Academy of Architecture and the Turkish Consulate General. It features frames captured by Turkish photographer Kamil Firat, which explore the relationship of sky and space in Sinan's works. These photographs were displayed at an exhibition organised by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in Istanbul last year.

Firat's shot of Selimiye Mosque
Firat's shot of Selimiye Mosque

The exhibits also include study panels of drawings and POP replica models of mosques that Sinan designed. The academy's students created them during a semester-long course on the architect. "It started as a college project for our third year students, and has culminated in a grand exhibition. The idea is to correct mainstream ignorance about Sinan's remarkable impact on architectural history," says professor Rohit Shinkre.

Pic/Wikimedia Commons

A contemporary of Italian craftsmen Andrea Palladio and Michelangelo, Sinan has often been credited for being the first to realise the architectural character of domes, visible in some of his most famous works — Sehzade Mosque in Istanbul and Selimiye Mosque, located in the city of Edirne in Turkey. Born in Anatolia, he held the office of the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire for 50 years. His oeuvre features 400 structures, including mosques, palaces, public baths, tombs, schools and hospitals.

Students working on replica models
Students working on replica models

This weekend, the team has also organised talks by Firat and Dr Halil Onur, architect and director of Conservation of Heritage, Istanbul, along with curatorial tours by architect Neesha Mewada.

From: September 9 to 17, 10 am to 6 pm
At: Library Hall, Rajabai Tower and Library Building, Mumbai University, MG Road, Fort
Email: celebratingsinan@aoamumbai.in

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