Illuminating Objects


Part of the Illuminating Objects series: On display from 6 November 2013

This case study uses evidence from 16th century lyrical poetry, travel narratives and mystical meditations to offer an interpretation of the symbolic and cultural meanings of the floral motifs on this Iznik dish. 

Interpreting Iznik floral motifs
The dish has many references that make it a complex cultural document

Ottoman gardens through European eyes
To many European travellers, Ottoman floriculture was a newsworthy novelty

The 'Quatre Fleurs'
16th century Ottoman society gave flowers special religious and literary meanings

The symmetrical floral composition a marked feature




The project is delivered as part of an inter-university Internship Programme,  in partnership with research students from a variety of disciplines and institutions including SOAS, King’s College London, the University of Kent in Canterbury, Imperial College and University College London.

Prof. Donna Landry, University of Kent;
Prof. Mehmet Kalpakli, Department of History, Bilkent University, Turkey