ISTANBUL: A new exhibition that combines the legend of Troy as recounted in Homer’s “Iliad” with traditional miniature, print and ceramic arts has been launched in Türkiye’s Troy Museum. “Troy: Every Form of Art” presents the 22-year experience of Göksel Sevim in miniature art.
The Troy Museum is an archaeological museum located close to the archaeological site of the ancient city of Troy in the northwestern province of Çanakkale. The construction of the museum started in 2013 as part of a project organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It was officially inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 18, 2019. The contents of the museum detail the archaeological history of Troy and its civilizations, which left their mark in the Troas region and were recorded in history with Homer’s “Iliad.” At least 2,000 artifacts unearthed during excavations are displayed here.
The museum has recently been hosting the “Troy: Every Form of Art” exhibition, which offers insight into the history of the ancient site through the art of miniature.
Miniatures are a type of two-dimensional artwork that features small, finely crafted paintings that tell stories or relay information. During the Ottoman era, those who practiced the craft were known as miniaturists. The Ottoman miniature used visual language to express its cultural diversity, cosmopolitan geography and principles of expression that developed over the centuries. As the 19th century approached, the craft expanded and began to appear more frequently on walls, canvasses, pieces of wood, ceramics and leather. With its history spanning hundreds of years, the art of miniature is broadly accepted as a significant part of Turkish history and culture.
The artist behind the exhibition, Sevim, said that she started to paint miniatures of Troy with the encouragement of the German archaeologist professor Manfred Osman Korfmann, who was the head of the excavations of Troy for 17 years. “In one of our conversations, Mr. Korfmann said that there is no miniature for the ancient city of Troy. Upon this, I started to paint miniatures for Troy, and Mr. Korfmann was my advisor during this process. Unfortunately, halfway through my studies, Mr. Korfmann passed away,” Sevim explained.
Taking a break from her studies for a while, Sevim later completed her miniatures of Troy, in which she depicted the details of its nine settlements. Noting that telling the stories of the legend of Troy through the art of miniature has become a passion for her, Sevim said that she is very happy that her work will be exhibited in the Troy Museum.
“Troy: Every Form of Art” will be on display for art and history enthusiasts at the Troy Museum until Aug. 31.