Wednesday, September 12, 2012

History of Ebru

Based on the epistemology the word "ebre" which means "marbled, grained" and used in one of Middle Asia languages is the first known name of art of Ebru.

       There is no solid evidence stating where and when art of Ebru started. Though, some references indicating that Ebru was performed in the 13th century in Turkistan, and moved to the East Iran in the 14th century. Finally, it came to Anatolia, Ottoman Turkish, and reached to its final form. During the Ottoman Empire time, many Ebru artists were trained and their pieces were used in decorating official documents. Accoring to Barutcugil ( 2002) using Ebru art at the state level was,  “to prevent the falsification of documents, besides its artistic importance.” So, Ebru art could be seen as a signature of a person, by means of tis multifarious design.

       This art spread in Iran with Silk Road and it is named as "Abru" (water surface) or "Ebri" (just like cloud). Later, this art is named as "Ebru" when it spread in Anatolia with Turks and this word is being used since then.

        Best-known Ebru artists

        Ismail Efendi

        The oldest Ebru master we know in the Ottomon history is Mehmet Efendi, known with the nickname "Monkey". In the "Tertib-i Risale-i Ebri", which is the oldest document explaining the production of Ebru and its composition, he is honored with the prayer "Let God be with him!" (Barutcugil, 2002)

        Hatip Mehmed Efendi

One of the other known masters in the history of Ebru is Hatib Mehmed Efendi (1773). The Ebru style known as "hatip", which is acclaimed as the forefather of flowery marbling, was known with this name because of his wide usage of the technique. (Barutcugil, 2002)

References: Barutcugil, H. (2002). Ebru'nun Tarihcesi. Retrieved from Ebristan Web site:

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