Event Literary and visual themes in 17th century manuscript of the Divan of Baki
Type Talk by Özlem Yıldız
Venue Meeting Room, The Arab British Centre 1 Gough Square London EC4A 3DE
Date Tue 11 December 2018
Time 18:30 – 20:30 GMT


Unrequited Love and the Beauty of the Beloved: Literary and visual themes in a 17th century manuscript of the Divan of Baki.

This talk will explore the relationship between the miniatures in the Divan of Baki and its text to analyse these themes and place them in the context of the Safavid illustrated manuscripts of the seventeenth century.

The anthology of the Ottoman court poet Mahmud Abdülbaki (pen name Baki) was copied numerously and illustrated several times. However, only one of these illustrated manuscripts brings together his Ottoman Turkish poetry with Safavid paintings. 

Dated 1636, this luxuriously decorated manuscript of Divan of Baki, today in the British Library, features eight Isfahan-style miniatures.The connection between the text and the images is one that reflects the well-established tradition of the illustration of non-narrative books in Safavid Iran, and there is an analogy between each image and the poem immediately next to it in terms of themes such as unrequited love and the beauty of the beloved.

Özlem Yıldız holds an MA in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East at SOAS, University of London, and an MA in Ottoman History at Sabancı University, İstanbul. Her main area of interest is Ottoman and Safavid illustrated manuscripts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She is one of the recipients of a 2017-2018 The Barakat Trust Scholarship. 

The Barakat Trust, founded as a UK Charity in 1987, supports the study and preservation of Islamic heritage, architecture, archaeology, art and culture by funding students, academic research, publications, digitisation, conservation, conferences and other projects.

Click here to book a ticket

If you are unable to attend the event why not support the work of The Barakat Trust by making a donation by clicking here.

Grantee Profile

Ahmed Mustafa exhibition

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1943, Dr. Ahmed Moustafa is an artist and scholar of international rep...

More »


  • Harpers Bazaar Arabia June 2017 Cover

    Harpers Bazaar Arabia featuring Barakat Trustee

    Abir Dajani Tuqan takes Bazaar on a journey through a rich and textured life that includes an enviable collection of fashion moments More »

  • Art Patronage

    Art & Patronage - The Middle East by Thames & Hudson

    The Barakat Trust was featured in 'Art & Patronage The Middle East' published by Thames & Hudson. More »

  • Arab london logo 1

    Barakat Culture Vulture Kids Camp was featured in Arab London. More »

  • Arab News logo

    Arab News

    Arab News has consistently featured the growth and evolution of the Barakat Trust from its early years to the present day. More »

  • nabatean tomb hejaz desert saudi arabia 990

    The Wells of Memory

    One of the first travelers in a century to walk through the Hejaz desert of Saudi Arabia, Paul Salopek encounters a fabled past of caravans and pilgrims, of empires come and gone. He encounters cultural preservationists including trustees of The Barakat Trust. More »

News & Events

Divan Image

Literary and visual themes in 17th century manuscript of the Divan of Baki

date: Tue 11 December 2018

Unrequited Love and the Beauty of the Beloved: Literary and visual themes in a 17th century manuscri......  More »
Amr Ibn Al as Mosque

Misr and Mosque: Architectural Splendour and Political Authority in Medieval Cairo

date: 19 July 2018

Misr and Mosque: Architectural Splendour and Political Authority in Medieval Cairo Illustrated talk ......  More »
city of dead cairo small

The Barakat Trust's Lectures with Leighton House Museum

date: Thursday 4 October 2018

The vast Muslim cemeteries of Cairo, known as the “City of the Dead”, were always also meant to be a......  More »
Arabesque Photo Small

The Arabesque in the Architecture of Islamic Cairo (9th – 16th Century) 

date: Thursday, 11 October 2018

The arabesque was a common design used in the architecture of Islamic Cairo. In the early periods, i......  More »