Iznik tiles are a living piece of art that transcends time and space. This craft, shaped by many different cultures throughout history, garners admiration and appreciation worldwide today. With its unique texture, delicacy in details, and vibrancy in colors, Iznik tile carries the traces of both aesthetic and cultural heritage. It is a unique form of handicraft that has profoundly influenced an era with its originality and artistic value.
The Origins of Iznik Tile Art
The art of tile-making dates back to the time of the Assyrians, an Eastern art form of antiquity. Tiles were utilized as architectural decorative elements in Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Iranian, and Cretan cultures in ancient times. The Turks first encountered tile art in Central Asia. Evidence of this comes from excavations in the cities of Kashan (Iran) and Turfan (Turkestan), where remnants of kilns and pieces of tile work have been found. Interestingly, the term 'Kaşi' was used for architectural tiles until the 18th century, because of the city of Kashan, and the name 'Evani' was designated to various objects like plates, vases, bowls, etc. However, as porcelains imported from China gained popularity, to emphasize their high quality, the Turks started to call their 'Kaşi' as 'Çini', which means 'Tile' in Turkish.
The Arrival of Tile Art in Anatolia
After the victory at Manzikert in 1071, Anatolia became a new homeland for both the Seljuks and the tiles. The tile art on these lands flourished in the 13th century when Seljuk architecture peaked. Seljuk artisans used tiles and mosaics in various colors and geometric patterns with great success and were particularly adept in their animal depictions.
Iznik Tiles and the Ottomans
In the 14th century, Anatolian tile art gained a new dimension with the Ottomans. Between the 15th and 17th centuries, Iznik became a significant center for tile and ceramics production. Iznik tiles, with their color and pattern richness, adorned the palace walls in Istanbul during this period. However, a stagnation in the art and technique of Iznik tiles began to appear in the early 17th century. Patterns and colors started to deteriorate, the coral red color seen in tulip and carnation motifs in the 16th century disappeared in this century. This regression is related to the stagnation of the Ottoman Empire.
Iznik Tiles in the Modern Era
Iznik tile making, which had completely ceased in 1716 following a period of stagnation in the 18th century, was revived 300 years later in the hands of contemporary masters such as Faik Kırımlı, known by his signature 'Ameli Faik', Turgut Tuna, an instructor at Uludağ University's Iznik Vocational School, and Rasih Kocaman, a pottery master trained in Avanos in Central Anatolia. Rasih Kocaman, whose "heart is hidden in tile", settled in Iznik after learning about Iznik ceramics firsthand and added his touch to this rare art. These skilled craftsmen have revived Iznik tile making and dedicated themselves to this craft.
Iznik Tiles: The New Era and Modern Works
With this revival, Iznik tiles have become an indispensable choice for those seeking high-quality gifts and luxury product collectors. Interior design enthusiasts, thanks to the unique beauty and original artistic characteristics of Iznik tiles steeped in history, decorate their homes and offices with these unique pieces.
In this context, the products our brand, Iznik Mavi Çini, offers embody all these values. Beyond just a decoration for your home or office, an Iznik tile carries a piece of history and art into your living spaces.
To learn more about this unparalleled art and to own the most authentic Iznik tile designs, click here. Get a hold of this unique piece of history and art!