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Ahmed Dalgıç

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture What is This? Provides in-depth historical and cultural information on over a thousand years of Islamic art and architecture

Ahmed Dalgıç

(d. Ulubad, Bandırma, Jan. 1608).

Ottoman architect and worker in mother-of-pearl. He followed the typical career path of an artist at the Ottoman court: recruited as a janissary, he was trained in the imperial palace in Istanbul and studied mother-of-pearl inlay under Ahmed Usta and architecture under Sinan, whom he assisted in the construction of the Selimiye Mosque (1567–75) in Edirne. In 1595–6 Ahmed was appointed superintendent of the water supply for the capital and assisted Davud ağa with building the Yeni Valide Mosque on a waterlogged site at Eminönü in Istanbul. The difficulty of building foundations with constant seepage from the sea earned Ahmed the honorific dalgıç, or diver. He succeeded Davud Ağa as Chief Court Architect in September 1598 and carried out repairs to several buildings in Istanbul such as the Eski Saray, Yeni Saray, Galata Saray, Fetiye Mosque, Kağıdhane arsenal and janissary barracks. He continued Davud Ağa's work on the Yeni Valide Mosque and on the tomb for Mehmed III (r. 1574–95) beside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, for which he fashioned the mother-of-pearl inlaid doors. Ahmed was also responsible for the adjacent tomb of Mehmed III (r. 1595–1603), for which he made an elegant Koran box of walnut inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell (Istanbul, Mus. Turk. & Islam. A., 19; see Woodwork, §II, D). Promoted to pasha, probably in 1606, he was appointed governor of Silistra in the Balkans and was killed suppressing the Kalenderoğlu rebellion in Anatolia.

Bibliography

  • Z. Orgun: “Mimar Dalgıç Ahmet” [The architect Ahmed Dalgıç], Arkitekt, xi (1941), pp. 59–62
  • L. A. Mayer: Islamic Architects and their Works (Geneva, 1956), pp. 58–9
  • S. Akalin: “Mi῾mar Dalgıç Ahmed Paşa” [The architect Ahmed Dalgıç Pasha], Tarih Derg., ix (1958), pp. 71–80
  • The Anatolian Civilization III: Seljuk/Ottoman (exh. cat., Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Mus.,1983), p. 198 [Council of Europe XVIIIth European Art Exhibition]
  • L. Thys-Şenocak: “The Yeni Valide Mosque Complex at Eminönü,” Muqarnas, xv (1998), pp. 58–70
  • A. Tülay: “Art and Architecture,” The Later Ottoman Empire, 1603–1839, iii of The Cambridge History of Turkey (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 448–50
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