BOOK REVIEW: Turquerie

Turquerie: An Eighteenth-Century European Fantasy

Haydn Williams

Turquerie

ISBN 9780500252062
Hardback
240pp
£39.95

The Seraglio, an over-door from madame de Pompadour’s music room at the château de Bellevue, by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre, c. 1755, oil on canvas © Pałac w Jabłonnie, Jabłonna, photo Hubert Macioch

The Seraglio, an over-door from madame de Pompadour’s music room at the château de Bellevue, by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre, c. 1755, oil on canvas
© Pałac w Jabłonnie, Jabłonna, photo Hubert Macioch

It is a delightful book which reveals how by the eighteenth century Europe’s long- established fear of the Turk had been replaced with a fascination for things deemed to have an Ottoman influence. Indeed I remember reading elsewhere that the Prince de Ligne had musicians who wore Turkish costumes.

Figures of a young sultan and sultana, Höchst manufactory, models by Johann Peter Melchior, c. 1770, hard-paste porcelain, c. 1770 © Christie’s Images, London/Scala, Florence

Figures of a young sultan and sultana, Höchst manufactory, models by Johann Peter Melchior, c. 1770, hard-paste porcelain, c. 1770
© Christie’s Images, London/Scala, Florence

This beautifully illustrated and researched book celebrates the buildings interiors, gardens, furniture, paintings and variety of objects that were created for Royal and noble patrons in detail. The final chapter looks at how the interest in things Turkish continued into the nineteenth century. Haydn Williams deserves our thanks for producing this really enjoyable book

Salon turc of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily, Villa Favorita, Palermo, early 19th century Photo courtesy Dario di Vincenzo

Salon turc of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily, Villa Favorita, Palermo, early 19th century
Photo courtesy Dario di Vincenzo

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