[EARLY BOOK ON THE GENOESE AND THE BYZANTINE BUILDINGS IN CONSTANTINOPLE] Eski Galata ve binalari. [i.e. Old Galata and it's buildings]
CELÂL ESAD [ARSEVEN], (1876-1972), Ahmed Ihsan ve Sürekâsi Matbaasi, Istanbul, 1913.
Original wrappers. Cr. 8vo. (20 x 14 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 120 p., ills. and many plans, one folded map (50x67 cm) of the Galata quarter surrounded by the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn of Constantinople, including Genoese and Byzantine architectural buildings.
First edition of this rare and the early book on old Genoese and Byzantine buildings in the Galata quarter of Constantinople, written by Turkish art historian Celal Esat Arseven (1876-1972).
The Galata quarter first appeared in Late Antiquity as Sykai or Syca. By the time the Notitia Urbis Constantinopolitanae has compiled in ca. 425 AD, it had become an integral part of the city as its 13th region. According to the Notitia, it featured public baths and a forum built by Emperor Honorius, a theatre, a portico street, and 435 mansions. It is also probable that the settlement was enclosed by walls in the 5th century. In the 11th century, the quarter housed the city's Jewish community, which numbered some 2,500 people. In 1171, a new Genoese settlement in the area was attacked and nearly destroyed. In 1233, during the subsequent Latin Empire (1204-1261), a small Catholic chapel dedicated to St. Paul was built in place of a 6th-century Byzantine church in Galata. This chapel was significantly expanded in 1325 by the Dominican friars, who officially renamed it the Church of San Domenico, but local residents continued to use the original denomination San Paolo. In 1407, Pope Gregory XII, in order to ensure the maintenance of the church, conceded indulgences to the visitors of the Monastery of San Paolo in Galata. The building is known today as the Arap Camii (Arab Mosque) as per its conversion into a mosque a few years later (between 1475 and 1478) under the rule of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II with the name Galata Camii. In 1261, the quarter was retaken by the Byzantines, but Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos granted it to the Genoese in 1267 in accordance with the Treaty of Nymphaeum. This rare book includes the history and the plans of the buildings such as the Arap Mosque (Church of San Domenico) (1325), Galata Tower (1348), Church of Saint Benoit (1427), Zülfaris Synagogue (1823), Church of Saints Peter and Paul (1843), Camondo Steps (1880), St. George's Austrian High School (1882), Ashkenazi Synagogue (1900), Italian Synagogue (1931), Neve Shalom Synagogue, etc.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Celal Esat Arseven was a Turkish art professor and historian. Born the son of a pasha in Istanbul, Celal Esat Arseven graduated from Besiktas Military School in 1888 and studied drawing at a fine arts school for a year before going to military college. He continued writing and painting while in the army, from which he resigned in 1908. In the years before World War I, he worked at the humor magazine Kalem with Cemil Cem, one of the great early caricaturists of Turkey. Arseven was a writer and artist of diverse talents. In 1918, he wrote a libretto for one of the first Turkish operas and went on to write several musical plays performed at the Istanbul municipal and state theaters. In addition to being an accomplished watercolorist, he was also a professor of architecture and municipal planning at the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy from 1924 to 1941. He published a five-volume art encyclopedia between 1943 and 1954, and many books on Turkish painting and architecture throughout his lifetime. Before his death, he was awarded a doctoral degree by Istanbul University. He was also a delegate to the Turkish Grand National Assembly during its seventh and eighth sessions. (Sources: And, Metin. "Opera and Ballet in Modern Turkey." In The Transformation of Turkish Culture: The Atatürk Legacy, edited by Günsel Renda and C. Max Kortepeter. Princeton, NJ: Kingston Press, 1986).
Özege 5112.; TBTK 4748.