Silks and Stones: Fountains, Painted Kaftans, and Ottomans in Early Modern Moldavia and Wallachia
Throughout the early modern period, the Ottoman material culture and aesthetics exerted considerable influence on the tastes of Moldavian and Wallachian elites. However, while this cultural footprint has been recognized with regard to moveable luxury goods, such as garments and household objects, the architectural influence has been regarded differently within historiography. Particularly, the absence of mosques and other Islamic places of worship in the Danubian principalities has been brought
... es has been brought up in scholarship as an argument for their position outside of the Ottoman space. In turn, the incorporation of Ottoman architectural elements was usually considered as a purely stylistic choice devoid of deeper meaning. The scope of this study is to rethink the relationship between Ottoman models and their incorporation into the built environment of the Danubian principalities throughout the early modern period. Focusing on the patterns of architectural patronage and incorporation of Ottoman stylistic elements, the paper argues that patrons in Moldavia and Wallachia not only emulated many of the trends from Istanbul but also consciously incorporated them to emphasize their ties to the imperial culture and society. By means of constructing fountains, depicting kaftans bestowed upon them by sultans and adapting a decorative program radiating from the imperial centre, rulers and boyars showcased not only their wealth but also their ties to the Ottoman political edifice and elite culture of the empire.