Perfect Beauty (2009)
Kusursuz Güzellik
Painting series, 7 pages, ink, photography, gold on special paper
35 x 50 cm

“Perfect Beauty” series, comprised of seven different pages, depicts the qualities the beautiful women ought to have. The texts inscribed on the works in this series are from the Bahname (genre of texts on sexuality in Ottoman literature) titled “Tuhvetü’l Müteehhilin” (The Encouragement of Nature in the Urge for Sexual Intercourse) written by physician Mustafa Ebu’l Feyz in the 17th century. The women figure in the work are reinterpretations by the artist of the women miniatures produced by Levni and Abdullah Buhari in the Ottoman era using photographs of her own body.

7 ayrı sayfadan oluşan Kusursuz Güzellik serisinde güzel kadınlarda bulunması gereken özellikler anlatılıyor. Bu seride bulunan yapıtların üzerinde yazılı olan metinler, Tabib Mustafa Ebu’l Feyz tarafından 17. yüzyılda kaleme alınan “Tuhvetü’l Müteehhilin” (“Cinsel Birleşme İsteğinde Tabiatın Teşviki”) adlı bahnameden alınmıştır. Yapıttaki kadın figürleri, Osmanlı Döneminde Levni ve Abdullah Buhari tarafından üretilmiş kadın minyatürlerinin, sanatçının kendi bedenin fotoğraflarını kullanarak yeniden yorumlanmasından oluşuyor.


Sagacious men have stated that, regarding darkness, or the elements that ornament and add grace to the face of a woman, there are four that beautify her appearance. The first is black hair, the second is black eyelashes, the third, black brows and the fourth, black eyes.




There are also four elements of rotundity that produce beauty. The first is the round form of the face, the second roundness of the head, the third is roundness of the heels, and the fourth is the roundness of the buttocks.

It should be well understood that females can be divided into three categories from the standpoint of achieving satisfaction; these are: fast, medium and slow. For example, females who are tall and narrow-waisted are quickly satisfied, those who are short and thick-waisted are slow to be satisfied, and the satisfaction of those with intermediate bodies is medium. The indication of orgasm is as follows: she relaxes her hands and feet, her eyes become smaller and she is embarrassed to come face to face with the male and covers her face with her arm, her brow perspires and joints loosen, and she begins to tremble and embraces her partner. These are the signs of having achieved satisfaction. If the male and his beloved achieve orgasm at the same moment, he will not find greater pleasure and delectation than the woman, and this will increase the interest and love between them. However, if their satisfaction is not achieved at the same time, but close to one another, the degree of love will be increased proportionately to the degree of closeness. What is worthy and laudable in a male is not to withdraw his tool until he senses that the woman has also been satisfied, even if he has already achieved orgasm, so that she too can savor the pleasure of intercourse.

According to some, women’s organs are of three types: one is grand (large), one is inter­mediate (medium) and one is young (small). In fact, we have already spoken of the three types of male organ. For example, if the male organ is long and wide, it is called (with respect to the size of an elephant) fila, or “elephantine”. A medium organ, because the horse is of medium size, is referred to as a küheylan, or “thoroughbred”. And in reference to the small size of a ram, the smaller organ is referred to as kebşâ.





It is from the standpoint of tightness that the female organ perfects the beauty of the beloved. Persons of discernment have come to understand that the tightness of the cleft is indicated by the small mouth of the beloved. If the end of her tongue is flat, that is an indication that her cranny is extremely wet. If her nose is pointed, she will have but little desire for intercourse. If her chin is long, her fissure will also be high, that is protuber­ant, its hairs sparse, and will resemble the breast of a goose. If her chin is small, so will her aperture be deep. If the beloved’s face is wide and her neck thick, her hips will be small and her cleft long and narrow. If the tops of her hands and feet are well-padded, her cranny will also be big and her pleasure in intercourse will be excessive. If their calves are thick and tight, their lust will be great and they will be desirous of intercourse. If the body is always warm, the lips red, the breasts firm and widely separated, this is a sign of exaggerated licentiousness and an excessive pleasure in intercourse. A thickness of the lips signifies that the area surrounding the aperture is thick as well, whereas thinness of the lips indicates a paucity of sensuality. The possession from birth of large and heavily outlined eyes is proof of excessive licentiousness and a small and narrow cleft. If the eyes are close to the head, or low-browed, it is an indication of a wide cleft.

Lovers can be separated into a few different classes according to the differences in their bodies. This classification mandates that, if the female organ does not find a male tool that is appropriate to it in terms of size and length, passion will not develop. What we speak of is that together with these qualities, the shape of the head and face should also be well-proportioned and harmonic. That is, if the head is large, the face should not be small; the body should be proportionate in every way, and should be neither thin nor fat. She should be taut of skin and her complexion should be of a reddish white or a reddish black, that is, the warm color of wheat; her hands should be well-proportioned and soft, her conversation sweet, her blood hot, her laughter gentle, her smile courteous, and she should be attractive and arousing.





There are four elements which lend beauty from the aspect of small size. First, a small mouth will always add perfection to the beloved’s beauty. The second is small hands. The third is small breasts, and the fourth is small feet.





The elements of breadth that beautify are also four. The first is a broad forehead; the second is wide eyes, that is, not eyes that squint, but rather the eyes of a gazelle; the third is a broad breast, and fourth is a wide and rounded countenance.





There are also four elements of length that beautify. The first is a long neck, the second is tall height, the third is long eyebrows, and the fourth is long hair.







The elements of reddishness that beautify are four as well. The first is a red tongue, the second is red lips, the third is red cheeks and the fourth, a red bottom, that is, reddish buttocks.


Perfect Beauty cataloue