IZNIK TILES

IZNIK tiles are one of the most recognizable of all Ottoman arts. The iconic underglaze painted tiles are named after their production center in Iznik – ancient Nicaea, of the Nicaean Code – which lies on the eastern shore of the Marmara Sea. 

Although the earlier Seljuk Turks had used glazed tiles as architectural ornaments, it was the Ottomans who refined the art in terms of pattern and technique. The Ottomans initially brought Persian ceramic masters to Iznik to set up the production workshops, and many motifs - cloud bands, Çintamani, chrysanthemums, and more - have roots in Chinese, Persian, and Mughal arts.  Other motifs, like the tulip and the carnation, are Ottoman symbols.

The height of Iznik tiles in both design and technique was the 16th century, during the height of the Ottoman Empire. Famous imperial mosques like Sultanahmet (The Blue Mosque) and Rüstem Paşa Mosque, among many others, are covered floor-to-ceiling in exquisite Iznik tiles. The Ottoman palace and seat of power Topkapı is also famous for its tiles.

Our handpainted Iznik tiles maintain the artistic legacy of these tiles. Beautiful as accents or as full walls, and customizable to wall or panel size, our tiles are handpainted with traditional Ottoman designs in Turkey. It is important both to preserve cultural heritage and to support contemporary artisans, to find modern design applications for ageless artforms.

For more information: info@clarelouisefrost.com