HISTORY OF EBRU

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Although it is not known when and in which country the art of marbling was born, there is no doubt that it is a decorative art peculiar to Eastern countries. The oldest ebru painting is accepted as GUY-İ ÇEVGAN made in about 1539-40. This book consists of pages of ebru works. For an art to be accepted in the society, it has to be performed centuries long. A number of Persian sources report that it first emerged in India. It was carried from India to Persia, and from there to the Ottomans. According to other sources, the art of marbling was born in the city of Bukhara in Turkistan, finding its way to the Ottomans by way of Persia. In the West, ‘ebru’ is known as ‘Turkish paper.’

 

Marbling used to be extensively employed in bookbinding and calligraphy. On occasion, particularly interesting and attractive designs are used as pictures. Turkey has produced many great exponents of the art, such as Hatip Mehmed Efendi (18th century), Şeyh Sadık Efendi (19th century) and Bekir Efendi (early 20th century). Among the last great masters produced after Necmeddin Okyay, both Mustafa Düzgünman (born 1920) and Niyazi Sayın (born 1927) are particularly worthy of mention.