THE Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books has recently acquired two illustrated Ottoman manuscripts. Historically and stylistically important, they are welcome additions to the small but select collection of some sixty illustrated Turkish manuscripts in the British Library. It is only comparatively recently that Turkish miniatures, unlike Persian, have been seriously studied in their own right. This is partly due to the fact that the great collections in libraries in Turkey were inaccessible for study by outsiders until some fifteen years ago. It is increasingly recognized that, however much may have been owed initially to the influence of Persian artists and miniatures, Turkish artists developed their own distinctive style of painting.
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