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Contents / Cornelis de Bruyn

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 foreign countries,

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