Murat Uluskan

Marmara Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Tarih Bölümü, İstanbul/TÜRKİYE

Keywords: Ottoman Palace, Ottoman Art, Ehl-i Hiref, Tabriz, Azerbaijan, Aqqoyunlu, Safavid, Iranian, Persian, Artist

Abstract

The Ehl-i Hiref salary books are the main sources to be consulted on Ottoman palace artists. These notebooks, containing data such as the artists’ salaries, titles, origins, ways of joining the palace and family information, include data about the artists’ careers and death dates, as well as how many people they worked with in any art branch. According to these salary books of the Ehl-i hiref, it is understood that some of the artists who were taken into the institution were master craftsmen brought to the country as a result of various wars. In the aftermath of the Battle of Otlukbeli (1473), which was won during the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (1451-1481), some scholars and artists from Akkoyun were brought and started to be employed in the Ottoman Empire. At the reign of Sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512), it is understood from the notes obtained from the salary books that many artists were taken under Sultan’s service. It is also known that following the triumph of Sultan Selim (1512- 1520) against Shah Ismail, the Safavid ruler, in the Battle of Chaldiran (1514), the Sultan employed famous artisans from Tabriz who previously worked either in the private service of the Shah or as freelancers. These artists were brought to Amasya, where they spent the winter on the return of the campaign, and as soon as they came to Istanbul, they were assigned to the relevant art classes in the Ehl-i hiref organization of the palace. In this study, the names, salaries, art classes, dates of entry into Ottoman service and service periods of Tabriz artists registered in the earliest Ehl-i hiref salary books from the period of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566) are examined.