Iznik Dish with a Figure of a Woman
This deep circular dish features a woman centrally depicted against a turquoise ground, flanked by stems rendered in cobalt blue with brick-red and white flowers. The woman is seated cross-legged wearing a tall headdress and a kaftan, and holds a blossom in her right hand. The rim bears alternating pairs of green leaves with scrolling stems and cobalt blue rosettes on a white ground, while the underside is painted with turquoise and cobalt blue leaf motifs. All motifs in the composition are outlined in black, as well as the inner and outer borders of the rim. The dish has a fritware body covered entirely with a white slip and transparent glaze, except the foot.
The 17th century witnessed a decline in Ottoman Court patronage of Iznik ceramics, leading artists to experiment more openly in style and subject matter. Freely drawn figural imagery such as depicted here is quite rare, and developed perhaps in reference to the popular Ottoman costume albums produced at the time. For comparable examples of this dish featuring central figural imagery, see Bilgi, pp. 508-19, figs. 242-247, and the Musée National de Céramique, Sèvres, illustrated in Atasoy & Raby, pp. 282-83, figs. 666-668. For similar examples of the rim design, see Bilgi, pp. 482-85, figs. 227-229.
Literature: Atasoy, N. and Raby, J. Iznik: the Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, Alexandria Press in association with Laurence King Publishing, London, 1994.
Bilgi, H. Iznik: Ömer Koç Collection, Hülya Bilgi, Ghent, 2015.