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index / Mediterranean Coastal Cities in Miniatures

By the time of Süleyman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire was a full-fledged member of the European family of states. It was in
that brilliant period that a Turkish miniaturist emerged who would join
East and West in his works.
His name was Matrakçi Nasûh.
The birth and death dates of this universal Renaissance artist of the Ottoman Empire are not known with
any certainty.
But one thing is sure, Matrakçi Nasûh was an extremely multi-faceted individual like the universal intellectual figures of Renaissance Italy. Historian, mathematician, calligrapher and painter, he was also a soldier and a sportsman. He was known as ‘Matrakçi’ for inventing the game ‘matrak’,
a type of fencing match played with elegant dance-like steps, using a wooden stick and round pillow instead of a sword and shield. Such an expert player was Nasûh that Süleyman actually issued a decree in 1529 declaring him to be unique and unmatched in the sport.

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