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Inspired by the spectacular Ottoman-era tiled buildings in the Topkapı Palace complex in Istanbul, I began to paint ceramics—both tiles and pottery—in this style in 1999. The historic center for this exquisite work, which reached its apex in the 16th century, was Iznik, 120 miles east of Istanbul. Over time, the style itself became known as “Iznik,” even after the decline of the industry in the town. Today, the center of Iznik pottery is in Kutahya.
Outside of Turkey, the best and most numerous examples of Iznik pottery and tiles can be found in the British Museum. Original tiles and plates can sell for as much as $150,000 at auction. Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, by Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby, is the definitive work on the subject.
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