222 / the grand bazaar

This is how shopping should be!
The market has been there since 1543; I went a few times,
never hassled as in some big bazaars

Lots of interesting items

although I enjoyed looking, am getting rid of things
rather than finding more

it would be fun if you had a big budget for gifts

a  lot of it looked to be fine quality, & there were
numerous shoppers

this may have been a picture at an exhibition
about the architect Sinan that was on while we were
in Istanbul. He designed the relatively small Rustem Pasha mosque,
my favourite of those I saw. 
( Suleymaniye mosque was still closed for renovations) 


221 / Topkapi

Here at Topkapi, you know that some of the
skills are still alive

as it seems to have a continuous restoration

& its truly an exquisite palace

I keep returning to the marvellous photographs
it is a Turkey that one glimpses, even as a visitor
& falls in love with, as in a dream


220 / over time

These photos are from what were originally christian churches,
then maybe mosques, & now museums

its nice to think that all the differences calm down

the great Sinan was born into a christian family,
obliged to convert, & ended up designing some of the great
masterpieces in Constantinople or anywhere

the above mosaic was inside the curve of a high domed ceiling
- hard to reach -
or perhaps even vandals could appreciate it

& I loved these ceilings, too.


219 / & more

Tried to photograph some so that I could stitch together later

the angles were too difficult

The calligraphy in these was incredibly fine

Wished I could have learnt more about their making

it was probably available, but I only know english

someone said this above was a deed to property  

I couldn't tell whether these 2 books were by the hand of one person;
if it was by two or more, they were in truly remarkable accord

those artists loved what they did.
(passion is a drastically over-used word these days..)


218 / more

Most of the time I'm painting, but on the Mac I'm back
in Istanbul: looking at the dazzling books, & craft

click for a little more detail, though with the glass cases, lights,
etc, the photos give more of an impression only

astonishingly fine details

I love all the variations of how humans write

though Arabic is close to being my favourite
~ if it is even possible to compare ~ 
each says so much about the culture that gave birth to it

Have read about people in pre-literate cultures who could recite
whole sagas from memory ~ but how wonderful to turn a page
from long ago & understand what it says.


217 / museum pieces

an astrolabe, I think?

click to see the intricate detail
(I'm busy painting,  so posting photos from my time in Turkey
in 2010)

I think that artists might often find the same designs,
when starting with a particular plant

& these have something of the innocence of
Romanesque carvings..

a lovely delicate wood carving 

one of my favourite pieces

& who wouldn't want to store their brushes in these?

I wonder if such splendid craftspeople are still at work?


216 / calligraphy

These were all in a marvellous Istanbul museum where photos were allowed; 
there were few signs I could read, so I trust its not
offending anyone to show them. 
Each is the most wonderful

possibly most would be a group effort, with paper makers, binders,
calligraphy, painters, gilders, marbellers etc

even without understanding a word, its possible to recognise a certain hand,
or time/script

& to enjoy the pleasure they found
in their work

also how all these books were so carefully preserved

& valued to this day for their beauty

some covers were tooled leather 

I was there for days, not ideal lighting, yet they
must have been painted by candlelight, sometimes. 
(more coming)
a good site for history of Istanbul & all over Turkey


215 / the country

After Cappadocia, on this trip to Turkey - in 2010 -
we headed south & east. It would look completely different
in spring or winter, but the same grand
expansiveness would be there

I'd like to go again, though not until the barbarians have
departed from neighbouring countries.
Why destroy the ancient history of these lands?

I'm out of words


214 / Cappadocia

The captivating landscape of Cappadocia -
I'd have liked to linger

it would take many years to know it well

& while its easy sometimes to see the signs of 
past habitation

other sites reveal themselves so slowly

these days the old rooms, I was told, are used more for storage;
for sure the farmers & country people know of all the old places

yet these cliffs excite the imagination, & make one dream of 
finding some lost cache from the landscapes long history.