The Hunername Topkapi Palace Istanbul,
On the order of Murad III Osman was promoted to the post of chief miniature painter for the palace. He painted more than 600 miniatures, including all those in the Surname (a work written in celebration of the circumcision of a prince) and the Semailname tan account of someone’s physical appearance) of Sultan Murad III as well as many of those in the Hunername. In his miniatures every detail of the figures are drawn, their faces and hands and the shape and design of the clothes in keeping with those of the people he was depicting, his pictures being a true record of the period. There is no doubt that he was the greatest painter of the Ottoman period. The first volume of the Hunername contains 45 miniatures painted on heavy silk paper. Until recently it was thought that they were all painted by Osman, but recent scientific examination has revealed that only nineteen of them were, in fact, his work. Among these beautiful and interesting miniatures by Osman are those depicting the Serbian Milos killing Sultan Murad I, Yildirim Beyazid hunting in Yenisehir, the concealment of the death of Celebi Sultan Mehmed from the army, the Conqueror taking his seat on the throne in Edirne, and Yavuz Sultan Selim hunting tigers. The other miniatures in the Hunername were painted by Ali Celebi, Mehmed Bey, Veli Can and several other artists. The second volume of the Hunername concerning the life of Sultan Suleyman the Law Giver contains 65 miniatures, depicting the sultan’s campaigns, his wars, and hunts. That depicting the First Seige of Vienna shows every detail of the edge: The Sultan’s tent, the cannons, towers, and buildings. On the miniature is written: “After the outskirts of the city were subdued, the coming of winter made it necessary to withdraw’. Another miniature shows the Mohac Campaign of the Conqueror, the picture is full of mountains, hills, meadows, janissaries, cavalrymen, and canons. The Conqueror is in the center on his horse, his head held high, and drawn on a larger scale than the other figures. Only one copy of the Hunername was made, so its value is beyond estimate. Once on the order of Sultan Resad, it was sent to Germany in 1912 and exhibited in Munich. The last Ottoman Sultan Mehmed Vanden in took the second volume of the Hunername to the Yildiz Palace in order to read it. A fire broke out in the sultan’s apartments and it was thought that the second volume of the Hunername had been destroyed along with many other books. However, it was later found in a cupboard and sent back to Topkapi Palace.
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