SOAS University of London

Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London

Empire of the Sultans

Ottoman Art from the Collection of Nasser D. Khalili

23 May 1996 - 31 August 1996

This first major exhibition at the Brunei Gallery made its debut at the Musée Rath, Geneva, in the summer of 1995. Comprising some 200 works, including an impressive selection of calligraphy, Qur'ans, manuscripts, arms and armour, metalwork, ceramics, textiles and scientific instruments, this exhibition explores almost every aspect of life in the Ottoman Empire, from military achievements to religious devotion.
The popular perception of Ottoman art is usually confined to religious architecture, Iznik pottery and textiles. However, this exhibition focuses not merely on the luxary arts but also on the key role played by the Ottoman tradition of calligraphy, which flourished until the 1920s, as an instrument of power and as an art form in its own right.

This exhibition was sponsored by Balli Group plc.