Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul
Princeton University Press, 2019
The Society of Architectural Historians confers the 2022 Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award for the best book published by a North American scholar to Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul. Taking as his topic an architectural style widely dismissed as a derivative decorative language used by a fading power, Ünver Rüstem recasts the late baroque style associated with the resurgence of the sultanic mosque in Istanbul as a potent means of expressing cultural and political relationships between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe.
Ottoman Baroque illuminates a critical moment in the architectural and urban history of one of the world’s great cities and is a major contribution to research on the meanings and mechanisms of the Baroque internationally. The book engagingly encourages scholars across the discipline to take eclectic ornamentation seriously. In his meticulous analysis of buildings and local contexts in relation to broad stylistic tendencies, Rüstem powerfully challenges conventional notions of “westernization” in architectural history and offers a model of interpreting architectural innovation across borders and within dynamic conditions.
Kathryn O'Rourke, Chair