DutchCulture
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Ottoman Empire

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Turkey started its formation of a cultural policy in accordance with Western civilizations and western values at the end of the Ottoman time. The period of adapting to European practices in the Ottoman Empire started during the ‘Tanzimat’ era (a period of reformation that lasted from 1839 to 1876). These reforms caused the formation of a new understanding, in particularly in the field of art, which continued during the following periods of the Constitutional Monarchy and the Republican Period. Although Western painters visited the Ottoman Empire and also produced art works there, the first paintings and sculptures in a Western sense made by artists from Turkey were produced under the roof of the first state academy of fine arts founded on January 1, 1882 as the School of Fine Arts (“Sanayi-i Nefise Mekteb-i Âlisi”. This school is still operating today under the name Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul). The School of Fine Arts was founded and lead by the famous Turkish Orientalist painter Osman Hamdi Bey, who was also an art historian, archeologist and museum curator.