The visual culture of the late Ottoman Empire reflected widespread and dramatic reforms. However, while political and social developments in this period have received much attention, the interaction between Ottoman and Western artistic practices is less widely understood. Ottoman Painting explores fully this complex and fascinating relationship for the first time, using vivid examples and drawing many intriguing and original connections. Inspired by developments in the West, a new way of making and thinking about art entered Ottoman visual culture in the late nineteenth century. Influenced by the materials, methods and viewing practices of the Western artistic tradition, Ottoman art adopted the Western form while modifying its content. Translated art forms supplanted existing visual practices, drawing on both European and Ottoman traditions. Ottoman Painting interprets this unique process, explaining the translation of' practices and discourses of art between cultures by examining Western-style painting in the late Ottoman Empire and the first Years of the Turkish Republic. From the walls of palaces to oil-on-canvas paintings at public exhibitions, art became both a sign of modernity and a means of expressing its ideals. Painting emerged in elite contexts with the rise of' landscape murals and imperial portraiture in the early to mid-nineteenth century. As some' Western-educated artists began to infuse it with complex meanings in the late nineteenth century, arts education focused on technical skills perceived as not threatening the social order. With the liberalisation following the Second Constitutional Revolution of 1908, art became an increasingly public force, addressing issue's of women's cultural participation, preservationism, propaganda, as well as the expression of personal and nationalist views. Wendy M.K. Shaw demonstrates how during the nineteenth century the very era when rapidly proliferating modernist artistic movements in the West were giving up traditional styles, techniques and functions of art ù artists in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey were harnessing these discarded traditions as a novel and modern means of communication. And far from being simply slow in embracing modernity, Ottoman art tells the story of a different kind of avant-garde, representing a cultural revolution. Ottoman Painting is an important corrective to a Western-dominated view of art history and a stimulating addition to our understanding of the cultural life of the late Ottoman Empire. --Book Jacket.