The Evolution of Ottoman Muqarnas

  • Original unpublished work in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MA History of Art approved by School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. All content in the thesis protected by copyright. The content cannot be used without proper citiation. 


This dissertation examines the evolution of Ottoman muqarnas, by referring to its predecessor, the Seljuk muqarnas. The aim is to demonstrate what are the important subjects in the period of nearly five hundred year of development.

In the first chapter it is intended to mention the resources would be useful for the study of muqarnas in general and also in particular in the geographical area where Ottomans covered.

The second chapter is in order to define what muqarnas is and to reveal what are the main aspects of muqarnas.

The third chaper is about the principles of muqarnas. In this part arguments from various scholars are discussed and it concludes by an example demonstrating how a muqarnas plan should be read.

The last chaper is the main part of the dissertation. In this chaper it has shown that there is a continuum in the architecture of Anatolia, and Ottoman muqarnas is natural development of its predecessors. In the formation of Ottoman muqarnas, usage of marble has extreme importance. Ottomans brought new approaches and developed geometric schemes and 3D elements developed by Seljuks. Lastly by examining the muqarnas-structure association it is underlined that muqarnas is not only a decorative element, but also a strong  intermediate which strengthens feeling of the space.

Hüdai Sırrı Şenalp