Research Article

DOI :10.26650/artsanat.2021.15.0002   IUP :10.26650/artsanat.2021.15.0002    Full Text (PDF)

An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato

Ali Fuat BaysalÇiğdem Önkol Ertunç

The tomb of Mawlana Jalal al-Din al-Rumi has undergone several periods of repair until today. During the last repair process that started in 2018 an attempt was made to reach the lowest layer of the tomb where rasping work on the interior design covering the inner surface of the tomb is found. During these meticulous studies, six original paintings representing the style of the period were discovered on the upper parts of the columns carrying the dome, particularly two on the south columns and four on the northern ones. These paintings, which are about five hundred years old,bear the traces of the illuminationist philosophy’s leader, Plato, who had a similar philosophy to Mawlana. Illuminationist (Ishraqi) philosophy, which means the emergence of knowledge through enlightenment and the combination of spiritual experience, also means the maturation of the person by enlightenment with the divine enlightenment. Illuminationist (Ishrâqi) thought symbols were skillfully fictionalized in the paintings, which we think were designed by the artisan(s) of the illuminationist understanding. Tree figures used in depictions or pictures of items such as oil lamps and curtains seen in architectural structures support our opinion. In addition to the figures, the psychological and theological effects of the colors used in the paintings were determined, and an attempt was made to establish a connection between these paintings and the philosophy of Israq, which it is our intention to describe in our study. Since the paintings have been covered for years, no comments or analyses have been made by scientists and artisans until today, and the reasons behind their concealment are unknown. These paintings, which were discovered recently, were evaluated in this study for the first time, and they were first analyzed technically and then philosophically in the context of Plato, Suhrawardi and Mawlana.

DOI :10.26650/artsanat.2021.15.0002   IUP :10.26650/artsanat.2021.15.0002    Full Text (PDF)

Mevlânâ Türbesi Kalemişlerinde Ortaya Çıkartılan Resimlerin Eflatun ve İşrakilik Bağlamında Bir Analiz Denemesi

Ali Fuat BaysalÇiğdem Önkol Ertunç

Mevlânâ Celaleddin Rûmî’nin (d. 604/1207 - ö. 672/1273) türbesi günümüze kadar farklı zamanlarda onarımlar geçirmiştir. 2018 yılında başlayan son onarım sürecinde türbenin iç yüzeyini kaplayan kalemişleri üzerinde yapılan raspa çalışmalarında en alt tabakaya ulaşılmaya çalışılmıştır. Bu titiz çalışmalar esnasında kubbeyi taşıyan filpâyelerin üst kısımlarında iki tanesi güney ayaklarda, dört tanesi kuzey ayaklarda olmak üzere altı adet devrinin üslubunu gösteren özgün resimler bulunmuştur. Yaklaşık beş yüz yıllık bir geçmişi olan bu resimler, Mevlânâ’nın düşüncesi ile benzerlik gösteren ve İşrakî felsefenin de önderi kabul edilen Eflatun düşüncesinin izlerini taşımaktadır. Bilginin aydınlanma yoluyla ve manevi tecrübenin birleşimiyle ortaya çıkması anlamında olan İşrakî felsefe aynı zamanda kişinin ilahi nurla aydınlanarak kemale ermesi manasına gelmektedir. İşrakî anlayışa sahip sanatkâr veya sanatkârlarca tasarlandığını düşündüğümüz resimlerde mistik düşünce sembolleri ustaca kurgulanmıştır. Tasvirlerde kullanılan ağaç figürleri veya mimari yapılarda görülen kandil ve perde gibi eşyalara ait resimler bu kanaatimizi desteklemektedir. Figürlerin yanı sıra resimlerde kullanılan renklerin de psikolojik ve teolojik etkileri saptanarak bu makalede anlatılmak istenen İşrakî felsefe ile bu resimler arasındaki bağlantı kurulmaya çalışılmıştır. Resimlerin üzerinin yıllarca kapalı olmasından dolayı bugüne kadar ilim ve sanat erbabı tarafından herhangi bir yorum, değerlendirme yapılmadığı gibi üzerlerinin ne zaman ve niçin kapatıldığı konusu da meçhuldür. Gün yüzüne çıkartılan bu resimler ilk defa bu çalışmada yorumlanmış, uzun uğraşılarla elde ettiğimiz bilgiler doğrultusunda öncelikle teknik açıdan ardından da Eflatun, Sühreverdî, Mevlânâ denkleminde felsefi açıdan analiz edilmiştir.


After the demise of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi in 1273 in Konya, Alameddin Kayser wanted to build a tomb on top of Mawlana’s grave. This demand, which was approved by the Palace of the Seljuks, was realized by the Architect Bedreddin from Tabriz, who was one of his followers and known to be an expert in mathematics, chemistry, and alchemy.

There is insufficient information about the shape and characteristics of the tomb, which was completed in 1274. The signature of Abdurrahman from Aleppo is the only source of information imprinted within the ornament inscription on the southern wall of the interior of the tomb, in which there is no document such as foundation record, document, epitaph, signature etc. about the dome. The name of Sultan Bayezid II, the 8th sultan of the Ottoman Empire, is mentioned within the epitaph of this signature. Since the Sultan’s reign was between 1481 and 1512, it is understood that the interior design on the surface of the dome was imprinted in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. This period corresponds to approximately 200 years after the construction of the tomb. Considering that the structure has been restored centennially, it is thought that it has been restored twice since it was constructed. More importantly, based on the situation revealed at the last restoration, it is understood that a complete renovation rather than partial configuration was undertaken. Based on the scrapings, it was determined that there were no different styles on the floor, and it was detected that the 15th century ornament style was original. 

Based on these scrapings, 6 paintings (100 x 60 cm) imprinted in miniature style were revealed on the sides of the four massive pillars bearing the Kubbe-i Hadra. During the restoration work which started in 2018, it was observed that these miniature paintings, which reflect the style of their time, were covered in the following periods and they were imprinted with interior design . It is unknown why these paintings, which were revealed on the sides of the massive pillars, were covered over in later periods.

Despite the intensity of patterns within the interior design that was designed with Turkish art styled motives, the mentioned paintings had undetailed, plain, and balanced designs. Among their contents are paintings from nature such as the life of trees and springs as well as depictions of architectural structures. We estimate that these architectural structures depict the Konya Fortress and the Palace of the Seljuks. While it is apparent that each imprinted painting is differentiated from the others with slight differences, we can evaluate these miniature paintings, based on their characteristics, as unique examples of interior design art in tomb architecture. Not only is there no information or visuals in the archives concerning these paintings, but also there were no signatures or dates on the paintings themselves. However, since there is a unity of style on the ornament of the structure, it is easy to date it. It is apparent that the miniature paintings have the same period characteristics and style as the interior design on parts of the Dome such as the vault, the massive pillars, and the wall surfaces.

It is worth mentioning that the patterns, motives, and script characters of the interior design , which have survived until today without much deformation, reflect the ornament style of the Timurid period. Our view is supported by the results of the study, namely that the close similarity between the domes of the structures in the miniatures and the dome styles of the Timurid architecture, and the expert expressions of the symmetrical nature depictions (204 x 125 cm) on the edges of the upper windows of the southern walls, bear the characteristics of the Timurid period. Furthermore, the craftsman applying this style, whose similar examples are observed in structures in Bursa and Edirne, is Mawlawi Abdurrahaman, the son of Mehmet from Aleppo. It is known that Abdurrahman was a craftsman who graduated from the Bursa school, which was an ecole in the art of ornament and which trained numerous craftsmen. Based on their signatures on the ornaments of the Yeşil Külliye (lit. the Green Campus) which they contributed to, it can clearly be seen that the craftsmen from Tabriz were also working in the Bursa school, which was an ecole. Since Anatolia and Iran were neighboring countries and since they were involved in various interactions in terms of culture and civilization throughout history, it was highly possible that craftsmen from Tabriz came to Konya and worked on the ornaments of the Mawlana’s Tomb or ornaments of similar structures as well. Therefore, the conclusion could be drawn that the Timurid style may very possibly have been used in the ornaments of the Kubbe-i Hadra and that these craftsmen contributed to the implementation of this style.

We can see the traces of Ishraqi philosophy based on the oil lamp motif in the paintings. We can understand from the works of İsmail Rusûhi Ankaravi, an important Mevlevi Grandfather, that there is a close relationship between Mevlevi and Ishraqi. Likewise, the fact that one of the architectural structures in the tables resembles the Eflatun Masjid on Alâeddin Hill in Konya, and also the relation between Plato and Ishraqi, has caused our research to move in this direction. It is known that the way of thinking and the philosophical views of Plato, Suhreverdi, and Mevlânâ maintain a close relation to one another. Therefore, it was thought that the paintings in the tomb of a significant thinker such as Mevlânâ Celaleddin-i Rumi had a philosophy and that they were portrayed according to this understanding. When the figures, such as castle, hill, curtain, etc. portrayed in the paintings were analyzed in the context of Ishraqi, our evaluations were concluded in this direction.

The Kubbe-i Hadra interior design, which we consider to have been completed with the skills of these craftsmen from Tabriz, together with its typeset, is the most important example in Konya to incorporate the ornament style of the Timûrid-influenced Sultan Bayezid II. era in regards to pattern, motive, and color.

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Baysal, A.F., & Önkol Ertunç, Ç. (2021). An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato. Art-Sanat, 0(15), 35-60.


Baysal A F, Önkol Ertunç Ç. An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato. Art-Sanat. 2021;0(15):35-60.


Baysal, A.F.; Önkol Ertunç, Ç. An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato. Art-Sanat, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 15, p. 35-60, 2021.

Chicago: Author-Date Style

Baysal, Ali Fuat, and Çiğdem Önkol Ertunç. 2021. “An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato.” Art-Sanat 0, no. 15: 35-60.

Chicago: Humanities Style

Baysal, Ali Fuat, and Çiğdem Önkol Ertunç. An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato.” Art-Sanat 0, no. 15 (Jul. 2021): 35-60.

Harvard: Australian Style

Baysal, AF & Önkol Ertunç, Ç 2021, 'An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato', Art-Sanat, vol. 0, no. 15, pp. 35-60, viewed 26 Jul. 2021,

Harvard: Author-Date Style

Baysal, A.F. and Önkol Ertunç, Ç. (2021) ‘An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato’, Art-Sanat, 0(15), pp. 35-60. (26 Jul. 2021).


Baysal, Ali Fuat, and Çiğdem Önkol Ertunç. An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato.” Art-Sanat, vol. 0, no. 15, 2021, pp. 35-60. [Database Container],


Baysal AF, Önkol Ertunç Ç. An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato. Art-Sanat [Internet]. 26 Jul. 2021 [cited 26 Jul. 2021];0(15):35-60. Available from: doi: 10.26650/artsanat.2021.15.0002


Baysal, AliFuat - Önkol Ertunç, Çiğdem. An Analysıs of Paintings Recently Discovered in the Mevlana Tomb According to the Philosophy of Ishraqi and Plato”. Art-Sanat 0/15 (Jul. 2021): 35-60.


Published Online05.02.2021


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