Publication : “Turquerie. An Eighteenth-Century European Fantasy”

By Haydn Williams

TH_Turquerie_A5.inddAt the end of the 17th century, the long-standing fear of the Turk in Europe was gradually replaced by fascination. Travellers’ accounts of the Ottoman lands, translations of works such as One Thousand and One Nights, and the magnificent spectacle of Ottoman ambassadors and their retinues were among the catalysts that inspired the creation of a European fantasy of this world. In this new book, Haydn Williams shows how turquerie manifested itself in the arts across Europe. Its most intense and long-lasting expression was in France, but its reach was broad: from a mosque folly in Kew Gardens to an ivory statuette of a janissary created in Dresden for King Augustus II of Poland and the costumes worn for a carnival celebration in Rome in 1748. Focusing on categories including painting, architecture, interiors and the theatre, Turquerie provides an engaging account of this whimsical European fantasy.

Haydn Williams, formerly a director and head of the objects of vertu and Russian works of art department at Sotheby’s, is now an independent fine art consultant.


Introduction, page 6

1. Europe and Constantinople after 1453, page 16

2. Connections in the 18th Century, page 40

3. Playing the Turk in Europe, page 62

4. Reflections of the Ottoman World in European Painting, page 88

5. Tents and Other Structures, page 114

6. Evoking the Ottoman World in European Interiors, page 138

7. Conjuring up the Ottoman World in European Applied Arts, page 166

8. Continuity and Change in the 19th Century, page 194

Notes, page 220

Bibliography, page 225

Picture Credits, page 230

Acknowledgments, page 232

Index, page 233

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