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FİNE CARVİNG  (Katı’)

Art works produced by carving any motif or writing samples from a piece of paper or leather are called Katı’. This type of decorations has an important place among book arts. According to the Ottoman dictionary, Katı’ comes from kat which means cutting or being cut (in this word, ka sound is accented). 

In the Encyclopaedia of Arts, Katı’ includes works produced by cutting out a writing sample or motif on a piece of paper or leather and attaching this part onto a piece of paper, leather or glass. The part of paper that is left once the pattern is cut out is called ‘the female part’ and the resulting writing and pattern are called ‘the male part’. These parts can be attached individually to surfaces to produce two separate plates.

Works from both leather and paper are called ‘Mukatta’ and those who produce these works are called ‘Katta’. Writings produced by old calligraphers by cutting and carving are ‘Mukatta Writings’.

With a history extending to Iran, the earliest examples of the Katı’ art are the works of master artists that lived in Herat in the XI and XVI Centuries.

The art of leather carving emerged in Islamic book arts in the XIV Century. The first and foremost representative of this branch is Abdullah Kaatı’ who lived in Herat in the XV Century. Mevlana Muhammed Bakır and Seng-i Ali Bedahşi are amongst the distinguished artists of the period. Works of these artists are currently preserved at Topkapı Palace Museum Library.

The arrival of the art of paper carving coincides with early XVI Century. Especially during the reign of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, this branch of art was the most important ornament of valuable manuscripts after Illumination. In these manuscripts, almost every pattern was used as carvings from illuminated motifs to floral patterns.

Efşancı Mehmet, Ali Çelebi, Abdülkerim Çelebi, Mehmed bin Gazanfer and Mevlana Kasım Arnavud were the most important Katı’ artists of this period.
‘Kırk Hadis’ (Forty Hadiths) prepared by Ali Çelebi the Calligrapher, ‘Şah Mahmut Nişapuri’ album of 1650 and the book titled ‘Guy ve Çevgan’ prepared by Mehmet bin Gazanfer in 1540 by using ta’lik calligraphy are the most important works of the period.

In the XVII. and XVIII Centuries, the art of Katı’ continued its progression with artworks that were suited with the periods’ sense of art. The greatest artists of the XVII Century were Nakşi, Halazade Mehmed, Mahmut el Gaznevi, Derviş Hasan Eyyübi and the last but not the least, Mevlevi Fahri Dede of Bursa.

Among the works of the period are carved Kıt’a works and landscapes of Fahri of Bursa, carved bouquets and Gazneli Mahmut Album ornamented with various decorations and a miniature album ornamented with carved floral patterns.(Mundy Album) (1).

In this period, Katı’ technique was brought to Europe via Ottomans by way of some works carried abroad by Western travellers visiting our land and after a while, Western artists themselves started to produce carvings under the title of ‘silhouette’.

These glorious periods of Turkish book arts went into a decline from the second half of the XVII Century. The lack of any serious artworks in this field in the XIX Century was the prophet of this branch’s doom.

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(1) For more information see.
Source:Gülbün Mesara, Türk Sanatında İnce Kağıt Oymacılığı (Katı’), İş Bankası,Ank.1998
    Gülbün Mesara, Günümüzde Kağıt Oymacılığı, Kültür ve  Sanat Dergisi,S.9,1991
    (Qadı Ahmed) Calligraphers&Painters-A Treatise by QadıAhmed, Son of Mir Munshi, Washington 1959
    Ali, ‘Menakıb-ı Hünerveran’, Hattatların ve Kitap Sanatçılarının Destanları, (Hazırlayan:M.Cumhur)Ank.1982
    Cihan Özsayıner, Katı’ Hatlar, Türkiyemiz, S.76, 1995
    E.Juhasz, Paper-Cuts, Sephardi Jews in the Ottoman Empire, NewYork 1990
    Filiz Çağman, XV.yy. Kağıt Oymacılık (Katı’) Eserleri, Sanat Dünyamız,S.8, Eylül1976
    Filiz Çağman, L’art Du Papier Decoupe, Soliman Le Manifique, Paris,1990
    Halil Ethem, Elvah-ı Nakşiye Koleksiyonu, İstanbul 1970  
   J.M.Rogers,Empire of the Sultans:Ottoman Art from the Collection of Nasser D.Khalili, London 1995
   K.Çığ, Türk Kitap Kapları, İstanbul 1971
   Mehmet Önder, Türk Hat Sanatında Sikkeli Yazı Levhaları, Antika,S.36,1988
   Uğur Derman, Benzeri Olmayan bir Sanat Albümü,Gazneli Mahmud Mecmuası, Türkiyemiz, S.14, Ekim1974
   Süheyl Ünver, Edirneli İki İnce Oymacımız, Ankara 1965
   Süheyl Ünver, Türk İnce El Sanatları Tarihi Üzerine, Atatürk Konferansları,Ankara 1964
   Ş.Uzluk, Meslevilikte Resim, Resimde   Mesleviler, Ankara 1957
   Ş.Uzluk, Mevlana’nın Ressamları, Konya 1945

 
     
 
 
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