Enchanting views of some Ottoman cities, as depicted
by a traveller in the 17th century Ottoman realm...
A mong the 17th-century western travellers and
artists who visited the Ottoman empire, it is Cornelis
de Bruyn (1652-1726/27) who best represented the
urban topography. Born in The Hague, de Bruyn (Bruijn)
as a school boy studied art with the well-known
painter T. Van de Shuer. In October 1674, he left
Holland, travelling first to Vienna, then to Rome.
At Rome, where he spent four years, he joined the
‘Bentveughels’ group of Dutch painters.
Then, on 16 June 1678, he boarded a ship setting
sail from Livorno and began his long and mysterious
travels to the lands of the East.
His first stop in the Ottoman Empire was Izmir,
where he was to spend a total of two and a half
years on three different sojourns. A busy port at
the time and the focal point of Ottoman trade with