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Title: Ottoman painting and painters during the First World War
Author: Tongo, Gizem
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 551X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This study focuses on the Ottoman art world during the First World War and explores how the war changed the conditions of art production, its agents, and the art itself between 1914 and 1918, a topic that has remained peripheral to international cultural histories of the First World War and modern art more generally. In modern Turkish history and art history too, the art of the war years has either been overlooked - buried in the images of the Independence War that followed - or distorted for ideological purposes - emphasizing the militaristic and pro-war aspects of wartime artworks and marginalizing or excluding non-Muslim Ottoman artists from the story. This study details the diverse institutions, exhibitions, patrons, collectors, critics, and artists who made up wartime Ottoman art world, as well as the rich variety of visual images produced during the war years, from popular illustrations to easel paintings. During the war, like other belligerent governments, the Ottoman state and semi-official patriotic associations commissioned artists to produce war-related works for internal and international propaganda purposes and, as the war progressed, as a historical record of national endeavour. Whilst some Ottoman artists gained a more popular appeal via the propagandistic wartime mass culture, the current of ethnic Turkism which fed into this posed a major challenge to the empire's well-established cosmopolitan artistic milieu. Above all, this study reconsiders the view that propaganda, jingoism, and militarism entirely dominated the cultural scene between 1914 and 1918, recovering how Ottoman artists' paintings often figured the struggles of soldiers in battle and of civilians on the home front in ways that were, if not openly pacifistic, more complex and ambivalent than later mythmaking allowed. The thesis hopes to make original contributions to the history of modern Ottoman/Turkish art, the social history of the Ottoman home front, and the international cultural and art history of the First World War.
Supervisor: Mignon, Laurent Sponsor: Lord Dulverton Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available