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Marbling art which has a special place among the Turkish book arts is made by the brush-sprinkling of the dye on the water of which the concentration is increased by means of substances such as tragacanth and transferring the patterns to paper. It is thought to have originated from the word “ebri” which etymologically means “cloud-like” in Farsi or the Jaghatian word “ebre” which means wavy appearance, marbled fabric or paper.

Art historians state that Ebru emerged in China in the 8th century, in Japan in the 12th century and in India in the middle of 16th century. From here, marbling art spread to Iran and even İstanbul. In the middle of the same century, Ebru papers which were taken from İstanbul by the European pilgrims and brought to their countries were introduced and employed as marble papers, Turkish marble papers and just Turkish papers particularly in Germany, France and Italy and marbling art started to spread in these countries. The oldest Ebru paper documented today belongs to the masterpiece named Mecmûatü'l-Acâib which is preserved in İstanbul University Library and which dates back to the period before the year 1519. Another one is the marbling art pieces in Arifi’s masterpiece Guy-i Çevgan dated 1539, which is preserved in Topkapı Palace Museum.     

Ebru which is an art acquainted with by means of the master/apprentice system - as in all the classical Ottoman art branches - was traditionally used only in the reveals of hüsn-i hat boards, ornaments and as end leaves for binders. One of the most important characteristics of Ebru tradition is the use of non-soluble and lightfast natural dyes which do not contain acid or casein and the special brushes made by rolling up the horsehair to rose tree branches.  

Marbling art which appears as an individual art and a line of work in the Ottoman period was almost forgotten in the beginning of the 20th century. The resurrection of this art has been by virtue of the grand master Necmeddin Okyay, who developed the “flower patterned marbling art”.

Today, marbling art is being performed as an independent branch of art by the application of different materials, along with the traditional style. 

Our marbling art artists are Firdevs ÇalkanoğluFuat BaşarAlparslan BabaoğluNesime KantarEzgi Turan.

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