Whirling Dervishes, Jean Baptiste Vanmour, c. 1720 - c. 1737
Dervishes occupied a special place in religiously tolerant Istanbul. Through prayer, music and ecstatic dance, they tried to enter into a trance and thus come into contact with Allah. Twice a week they performed this dance ceremony, which visitors were allowed to watch. Vanmour must have regularly sat in the gallery to study the whirling of the dervishes.