‘‘ESMA’ a short film by glass artist Felekşan Onar will premiere during the Venice Glass Week 2019 following the conference ‘Murano-Istanbul: A Glass Making Journey II, Upcoming for 10th September 2019, Venice

This year’s second edition of the Glass Week hosted at Palazzo Polignac in coordination with Onar, will be a conference with a circular approach around the central theme of enamelled glass as an art and trade object between the Serenissima and the Sublime Port during the Renaissance. 

The historic evolution of enamelled glass will be presented by Prof. Uzlifat Özgümüs (Istanbul University ) In its chronologically linear trajectory, the said evolution can be best described like a loop as well, because beginning from the Roman times via the Byzantine era, and having reached its artistic culmination at the hands of the Mamluk dynasty in the thirteenth century, this glass art and technique becomes a major craft at Murano after the fall of the Mamluks at the hand of Tamerlane, and enters the Ottoman market and glass factories during the Renaissance. 

Three speakers will provide historical background information to this particular nodal exchange. First, Dr. Gianpaolo Scarante, the former Italian ambassador to Turkey and the current President of the Ateneo Veneto, will open the conference with a talk on the role of Venetian “bailo”, the only emissary at the Ottoman court that uninterruptedly existed for nearly five centuries since the fall of Byzantium; second, archaeologist Feridun Özgümüs ( Istanbul University ) will talk about the relationships between the Serenissima- Byzantium- the Ottomans from the perspective of Constantinople, later Konstantiniye, then Istanbul; lastly, Prof. Vera Constantini (Ca Foscari University - Venice )will look into the Renaissance era in the history of Venetian-Ottoman diplomacy and trade. 

The conference will be concluded with the premier of, ‘ESMA, a short film inspired by the Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque in Istanbul, built by the Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan in 1569-71 and commissioned by the vezir’s wife Ismahan (Esmahan) Sultan. In her short film, produced for this special occasion, the glass artist Feleksan Onar will present not only the mosque’s outstanding features but also render a personal account of Ismahan Sultan’s endeavour to master beauty through light, with the 900 pieces of candelabra specifically ordered from Murano through the Venetian bailo.


‘Above all, the most important thing for me is the light in the Mosque: the light that will bring safety, wisdom and peace to all those who worship... My mother Nurbanu frequently receives exquisite glass pieces from Venice, and therefore I know the masters in Murano are the best to make the lamps I envision! I seem not to be able to decide on the form of the pieces, but I know I would like to have at least 900 of them for this mosque, for it to shine like no other..’


Conference: ‘Murano-Istanbul: A Glass Making Journey II’

Film: ESMA

 September 10th, 2019 at 17:30

Palazzo Polignac Contarini

874 Dorsoduro, 30123


Picture 5 Murano Istanbul  A Glass  Making Journey.jpg