Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

History of Art

First Advisor

Renata Holod

Abstract

While recent movements in social and economic history encourage us to turn our gaze toward the provinces, the majority of the recent accounts of Ottoman art and architecture remain resolutely focused on the patronage of the imperial court in Istanbul. This thesis aims to expand this view, standing as the first analytical study devoted to the art and architecture of provincial notables in the Ottoman Empire. More specifically, this dissertation documents and analyzes the flourishing of cultural and architectural production on the empire’s western frontier under Tepedelenli Ali Pasha, who governed what is now Greece and Albania for more than thirty years (r. 1788-1822) during the so-called “Age of Revolutions.” Ali Pasha could be considered part of a new class of provincial power-holders that began to emerge throughout the empire in the eighteenth century. By tracing the governor’s capacity to commission Western-style portrait paintings or to construct urban architectural complexes including palaces, mosques, and even Christian monasteries, this thesis demonstrate that this shift in the political order translated into new, localized strategies for display and representation that both responded to and challenged conventions of architectural patronage established in Istanbul. A diverse range of evidence including architectural monuments, epigraphic inscriptions, European diplomatic sources and archival documents in both Ottoman Turkish and Greek uncovers the significant role that a provincial actor like Ali Pasha played in building theaters of influence outside of the palace system.

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