Reinventing the Byzantine Image: The Reception of Byzantine Art in the Late Ottoman Popular Publications

From the second half of the 19th century onwards, the Ottoman reception of the Byzantine legacy began to alter. During this period, the Byzantine cultural legacy became a part of the Ottoman representation policy, and the attitude towards Byzantine art demonstrates that art history showed up as an independent field among Ottoman historians and artists in the late 19th century.

 

Although the complexity of intellectual activities and political concerns shaped the attitude towards the Byzantine past in the political historiography, it seems that art history located itself beyond political discourses. The tune on the Byzantine past in publications on Byzantine political history was quite negative, however, art history employed a far different discourse on Byzantine legacy and established connections with the Byzantine past and Ottoman present. 

 

In this research, I try to show how Ottoman art historiography disseminated this new and distinguished discourse through popular publications such as journal articles and schoolbooks. I revolve around the questions related to authors’ main sources, their intellectual positions, and targeted population.

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