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A difference of opinion (Topkapı Sarayı) by Marjolein Katsma

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A difference of opinion (Topkapı Sarayı) by 

Share this page Text and photograph © 2011, Marjolein Katsma

Tags for this photograph:
ceiling, arch, istanbul, turkey, türkye, turkye, cream, yellow, olive, gold, red, pattern, restoration, rococo, ornate, portico, dîvân-ı hümâyûn, divan-i humayun, imperial council, divan meydanı, divan meydani, second courtyard, topkapı sarayı, topkapi sarayi, topkapi palace, look up

Jutting out from one corner of the Second Courtyard (Divan Meydanı) is the building of the Imperial Council, with several rooms, and a wide portico wrapping around the corner. It’s all in a very ornate rococo style, and looked lovingly restored… until I noticed this arch right at the corner of the portico.

Looking closely, it seems the painting on the right half of the arch is drawn much more elegantly and expertly than that on the left half – which matches the rest of the colonnade, and looks sketchy in comparison. It seems just one part of an older version of the arch decoration was preserved (that may not even have been the original either), but does the newer version represent a difference of opinion on how it “should” look like, or is it just deliberately sketchy to emphasize it is a restoration?

The ceilings here are much more ornate than the relatively modest pattern seen at the Gate of Salutation:

Portico ceiling of Bâb-üs Selâm

Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1



ceiling, arch, istanbul, turkey, turkye, cream, yellow, olive, gold, red, pattern, restoration, rococo, ornate, portico, divan i humayun, imperial council, divan meydani, second courtyard, topkapi sarayi, topkapi palace, look up

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I have two passions: travel and photography – and these are often combined. Though even in my own city I often have a camera with me!

When I am not actually taking photographs or working on photographs, you may find me busy programming or otherwise working on my websites.

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  • hardhhhat
    hardhhhatover 2 years ago

    Wow that’s a hit for the senses all those different shapes and colours – very cool…

  • :) yes, that’s rococo for you – especially Turkish rococo which from what I’ve seen may be a tad more colorful than the European flavor (which inspired the Turkish one). Thanks, vee!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Susana Weber
    Susana Weberover 2 years ago

    I just love this kind of decorative work! Color, pattern, texture, form, design… all together… and working!! Nice graphic capture, too! :)))

  • If you love this kind of stuff, you’d love Topkapi (and Istanbul): there’s quite a lot of it – I got a bit of a kink in my neck that day, I don’t think I’ve ever looked so much up (even straight up)! But you’re right, the shapes and colors here all work together quite well – amazingly!
    Thanks for your nice comment, Susana – and if you ever do plan to go to Istanbul, let me know and I’ll join you: it’s firmly on my list of ‘keep-going-back-to’ cities.

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Eyal Nahmias
    Eyal Nahmiasover 2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing with the Art of the Middle East group.

  • shireengol
    shireengolabout 2 years ago

    we’ll have different opinions too…I love it!!

  • Thank you Shireen! I could not pass this up, could I?

    Thank you for the favorite, too! (though they’re much harder to miss in the new activity stream – miss the icons!)

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Maria  Moro
    Maria Moroabout 2 years ago

    such wonderful patterns …

  • Thank you very much, Maria! Great to see this featured!

    – Marjolein Katsma

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