Rüstem Pasha Mosque

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Rüstem Pasha Islamic cultural center
Rustem Pasha Mosque.JPG
Rüstem Pasha Mosque (in foreground)
Religion
AffiliationIslam
Location
LocationIstanbul, Turkey
Rüstem Pasha Mosque is located in Istanbul Fatih
Rüstem Pasha Mosque
Location within the Fatih district of Istanbul
Geographic coordinates41°01′03″N 28°58′07″E / 41.01750°N 28.96861°E / 41.01750; 28.96861Coordinates: 41°01′03″N 28°58′07″E / 41.01750°N 28.96861°E / 41.01750; 28.96861
Architecture
Architect(s)Mimar Sinan
Typemosque
Groundbreaking1561
Completed1563
Specifications
Minaret(s)1
Materialsgranite, marble
Section and plan of the mosque published by Cornelius Gurlitt in 1912

The Rüstem Pasha Mosque (Turkish: Rüstem Paşa Camii) is an Ottoman mosque near the Spice Bazaar located in the Hasırcılar Çarşısı (Strawmat Weavers Market) in the Tahtakale neighborhood of the Fatih district, Istanbul, Turkey. Named for Rüstem Pasha, who served as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Suleiman I, it was designed by the Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan and completed in around 1563.

History[edit]

Rüstem Pasha[edit]

The Rüstem Pasha Islamic cultural center was designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan for the Grand Vizier Rüstem Pasha. Rüstem Pasha was the husband of one of the daughters of Suleiman the Magnificent by Hurrem Sultan, Mihrimah Sultan, and served as Grand Vizier (a role comparable to a European prime minister) from 1544 to 1553 and from 1555 to 1561.[1][2] In this capacity, Rüstem Pasha effected marked changes on the economy of the Ottoman state. His economic regime focused on developing the Ottoman economy internally and reducing ties and dependence with Christian Europe, which he was hostile to.[1] His approach to commerce resulted in the discontinuation of trading practices developed under Rüstem Pasha’s predecessor and confusion throughout the Empire, where Rüstem Pasha’s attempts to decentralize trade empowered local leaders, limiting the efficacy of the Grand Vizier’s attempts to cut off trade with the Portuguese and Venetians.[1]

A committed Sunni Muslim, Rüstem Pasha had commissioned a number of important buildings in the Empire by the end of his life, including religious schools, mosques, and other structures. Prior to his death in 1561, Rüstem Pasha hoped to construct a final mosque of his own in Istanbul — in part to repair his controversial legacy — though the extent to which he had outlined his intentions for the eponymous Friday mosque remains ambiguous.[3][4]

Sultan Suleiman I authorized the project after the Grand Vizier’s passing. It was assigned to the Ottoman’s chief architect, Mimar Sinan.[4] Sinan designed a number of great mosques during his decades-long career, including the Süleymaniye Mosque and the Selimiye Mosque. However, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque was unique among Sinan’s mosques, which seldom featured interiors decorated as much as this one. The tiling also makes it stand out from other mosques in the region. The reason for this difference has not been conclusively determined, though Rüstem Pasha may have ordered the mosque’s characteristic İznik tiles in order to support court designer Kara Memi, who was known for elegant floral designs.[3]

Dating the Mosque[edit]

Efforts to date the Rüstem Pasha Mosque have been fruitful, though not conclusive, in part because of the lack of a foundation document (known as a vakfiye). Michael D. Willis’ analysis of the İznik tiles characteristic of the mosque indicated that the tiles date to 1555.[5] Other sources suggest that some of the tiles could have been crafted after Rüstem Pasha’s 1561 death.[6] He further concluded that the mosque was completed by 1561. More recent analyses of primary sources by Leslie Meral Schick determined that the mosque was likely built between 1561 and 1563. Plans for the mosque were only set in motion beginning in 1561, and deeds for the purchase of land date to 1562.[7] One water deed implies that the mosque was incomplete in December 1562, so the Friday mosque was likely only operational in 1563 or 1564.[7]

Usage[edit]

The Rüstem Pasha Mosque was originally designed as a Friday mosque, as reflected in Suleiman’s ferman (his imperial command ordering construction of the mosque).[8] More recently, it was used for film storage.[9] In May 2016, it closed for renovations.[10]

Architecture[edit]

Exterior[edit]

This small mosque was built on a high terrace over a complex of vaulted shops, whose rents were intended to financially support the mosque complex — something Rüstem Pasha intended and Sinan actualized. This elevated the mosque, making it a more visible component of the Istanbul skyline.[3] Narrow, twisting interior flights of steps in the corners give access to a spacious courtyard. The mosque has a double porch with five domed bays, from which projects a deep and low roof supported by a row of columns.[11]

Interior[edit]

External video
DSC04139 Istanbul - Rüstem Pasha camii - Foto G. Dall'Orto 26-5-2006.jpg
video icon Mimar Sinan, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, 1561-63, Smarthistory[12]

The plan of the building is basically that of an octagon inscribed in a rectangle. The main dome rests on four semi-domes; not on the axes but in the diagonals of the building. The arches of the dome spring from four octagonal pillars— two on the north, two on the south— and from piers projecting from the east and west walls. To the north and south are galleries supported by pillars and by small marble columns between them.[13]

İznik Tiling[edit]

Sinan’s architecture is known for emphasizing the structure of his buildings over the internal aesthetics, such as the tiling.[14] The Rüstem Pasha Mosque marked a substantial deviation from his typical style (and traditional Ottoman architecture) as it relied heavily on İznik tiling instead of having a more sparse interior. The Anatolian town of İznik was the heart of the Ottoman ceramics industry, which became a central component of the empire’s artistic production after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.[15] While it has been theorized that the tiling may have been inspired by Sinan’s wife Mihrimah, it could also be that Rüstem Pasha himself requested the tiling for economic reasons and to support a court artist specializing in floral designs.[14]

The Rüstem Pasha Mosque is famous for its large quantities of İznik tiles, set in a very wide variety of floral and geometric designs, which cover not only the façade of the porch but also the mihrab, minbar and walls. There are approximately 2300 tiles arranged in around 80 different patterns.[16] These tiles exhibit the early use of Armenian bole, a tomato-red pigment that would become characteristic of İznik pottery. While this red hue is applied more thinly on most of the tiles, it was applied heavily on the tiles near the qibla wall and appeared scarlet in color.[17] The bright emerald green color is only used in a panel added above an exterior doorway at a later date, and a study of the qibla tiling indicates that turquoise was the greenest hue available to the mosque’s builders prior to the addition of that emerald green.[18][19] Some of the tiles, particularly those in a large panel under the portico to the left main entrance, are decorated with sage green and dark manganese purple that are characteristic of the earlier 'Damascus ware' coloring scheme.[20] Yet the mosque’s tiling does not feature the olive green found to be characteristic of Damascus tiles.[17] No other mosque makes such a lavish use of İznik tiles; with later mosques Sinan used tiles more sparingly.[21]

According to Willis, some of the tiles at the Rüstem Pasha Mosque are of European origin (specifically Italian and Dutch) and also date to the eighteenth century.[22]

The Qibla Wall and Mihrab[edit]

The Rüstem Pasha Mosque’s qibla wall includes a number of new and experimental painting styles in addition to the traditional ceramic tiles. This is consistent with the mosque’s display of both a unique emphasis on İznik tiles and also a parallel with other buildings designed by Sinan, such as the Süleymaniye Complex. Walter B. Denny hypothesizes that this could have been “deemed a project too large for one designer,” and thus Sinan’s contributions were joined by those of several other aspiring architects.[18]

The qibla wall features mostly blue tiles in a variety of shades, including turquoise and cobalt. Some Armenian bole is used as an “accent,” adding to the general theme of blueness in this section of the mosque.[18] These tiles are almost all “repeating modules” and do not appear to be specially designed for the Rüstem Pasha Mosque.[18] Emblematic of this feature is the Rüstem Pasha Border, which consists of cobalt tiles, a white rosace, and turquoise embellishments, and appears all around the mosque. The tiles in this section feature rose buds, lotus palmettes, and leaves, consistent with the floral decoration characteristic of this mosque. Despite these details, the qibla tiling is relatively simple: most of the details utilize only two shades of paint, both blue (known as “two-blue” painting), which results in a somewhat monotonous presentation.

Inset in the wall is a mihrab, and this niche is shaped like a half-dodecagon. Between the two mihrab frames rests a panel featuring calligraphy; above them, there are three windows. The repeating tile patterns are shaped to conform to the structure of the mosque, so many are cut in unusual and arbitrary ways. As another example of this phenomenon, the bottom of the mihrab tiles are cut arbitrarily when they reach the floor. The lack of a foundation leads to an abrupt shift from the tiling to the floor.[18]

Wedged between the mihrab frame and niche is cambered tiling featuring a bright shade of red — this stands out because that shade of red is not found elsewhere and contrasts with the dark red used as an accent on many other qibla tiles.[18] This cambered section also is much more ornate than the relatively plain two-blue tiling on either side. The mihrab frame tiles are quite different as they feature embellished white tiles and include blue guard stripe borders. While these borders feature the two-blue painting style, they are less dry than the two-blue tiling found elsewhere on the qibla wall. The border stripes frame both the mihrab and the calligraphy (in the thuluth script) panel above the frame tiles.[18] The result is a highly unique structure in Istanbul and among Sinan's other works.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Casale, Giancarlo (2006). "The Ottoman Administration of the Spice Trade in the Sixteenth-Century Red Sea and Persian Gulf". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. 49 (2): 170–198. doi:10.1163/156852006777502081. ISSN 0022-4995. JSTOR 25165138.
  2. ^ Kawtharani, Wajih (2018). "The Ottoman Tanzimat and the Constitution". AlMuntaqa. 1 (1): 51–65. doi:10.31430/almuntaqa.1.1.0051. ISSN 2616-8073. JSTOR 10.31430/almuntaqa.1.1.0051.
  3. ^ a b c "Vice and Virtue: The Rustem Pasha Mosque as a Master Tribute". mediakron.bc.edu. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  4. ^ a b Schick, Leslie Meral (1990). "A Note on the Dating of the Mosque of Rüstem Paṣa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 50 (3/4): 285–288. doi:10.2307/3250073. ISSN 0004-3648. JSTOR 3250073.
  5. ^ Willis, Michael D. (1987). "Tiles from the Mosque of Rüstem Paşa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 48 (3/4): 278–284. doi:10.2307/3249874. ISSN 0004-3648. JSTOR 3249874.
  6. ^ Rogers, J. M. (1982). "The State and the Arts in Ottoman Turkey Part 1. The Stones of Suleymaniye". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 14 (1): 71–86. doi:10.1017/S0020743800026593. ISSN 0020-7438. JSTOR 163335.
  7. ^ a b Schick, Leslie Meral (1990). "A Note on the Dating of the Mosque of Rüstem Paṣa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 50 (3/4): 285–288. doi:10.2307/3250073. ISSN 0004-3648. JSTOR 3250073.
  8. ^ Schick, Leslie Meral (1990). "A Note on the Dating of the Mosque of Rüstem Paṣa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 50 (3/4): 285–288. doi:10.2307/3250073. ISSN 0004-3648. JSTOR 3250073.
  9. ^ Altinyildiz, Nur (2007). "The Architectural Heritage of Istanbul and the Ideology of Preservation". Muqarnas. 24: 281–305. doi:10.1163/22118993-90000120. ISSN 0732-2992. JSTOR 25482464.
  10. ^ "Rüstem Pasha Mosque (Rüstem Pasa Camii), Istanbul, Turkey". Turkey Travel Planner. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  11. ^ Freely, Blue Guide Istanbul
  12. ^ "Mimar Sinan, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, 1561-63". Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Freely, Blue Guide Istanbul
  14. ^ a b "Vice and Virtue: The Rustem Pasha Mosque as a Master Tribute". mediakron.bc.edu. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  15. ^ "The Lamp With No Light: An Exploration of Iznik Ceramic Mosque Lamps". mediakron.bc.edu. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  16. ^ Denny 2004, pp. 79–94.
  17. ^ a b Lane, Arthur (1957). "The Ottoman Pottery of Isnik". Ars Orientalis. 2: 247–281. ISSN 0571-1371. JSTOR 4629039.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Denny, Walter B. (1977). The ceramics of the Mosque of Rüstem Pasha and the environment of change. New York: Garland Pub. ISBN 0-8240-2684-5. OCLC 2523352.
  19. ^ Denny 2004, p. 91.
  20. ^ Carswell 2006, pp. 74–76.
  21. ^ Atasoy & Raby 1989, p. 228.
  22. ^ Willis, Michael D. (1987). "Tiles from the Mosque of Rüstem Paşa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 48 (3/4): 278–284. doi:10.2307/3249874. ISSN 0004-3648. JSTOR 3249874.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Denny, Walter B. (1977). The ceramics of the Mosque of Rüstem Pasha and the environment of change. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-2684-5.
  • Schick, Leslie Meral (1990). "A note on the dating of the Mosque of Rüstem Paṣa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 50 (3/4): 285–288. doi:10.2307/3250073. JSTOR 3250073.
  • Willis, Michael D. (1987). "Tiles from the Mosque of Rüstem Paşa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 48 (3/4): 278–284. doi:10.2307/3249874. JSTOR 3249874.

External links[edit]