Ebru, Turkish Art of Marbling

Discover Turkey and preserve Ebru tradition

Turkish Art of Paper Marbling

Ebru is a stunning traditional Turkish art of creating amazing and colorful patterns by sprinkling and brushing colour pigments onto a pan of oily water and then transferring the patterns to paper.

Ebru

Ebru is the Turkish art of paper marbling. It is a centuries old Ottoman and Islamic art where you can paint colours on paper. In Turkey, this art is widely known as Ebru today, and continues to be very popular.

Exquisite patterns are created by sprinkling paint on a pan of oily water and then those patterns are transferred to a sheet of paper. The designs and effects include ornamentation, foliage, flowers and mosques. Turkish art of marbling are also used for decoration in the traditional art of bookbinding. Having originated in the East, Turks mastered Ebru over the centuries. Which explains why this technique is often called Turkish marbling.

Beyond just its artistic merits, UNESCO noted that Ebru encourages dialogue through friendly conversation, reinforces social ties and strengthens relations between individuals and communities.

Artistry and Tradition

Ebru artists, apprentices and practitioners consider their art to be an integral part of their traditional culture, identity and lifestyle. Their knowledge and skills, as well as the philosophy behind this art, are transmitted orally and through informal practical training within master apprentice relationships. Achieving basic skills in Ebru takes at least two years.

Ebru tradition is practised without barrier of age, gender or ethnicity, and plays a significant role in the empowerment of women and the improvement of community relationships. The collective art of Ebru encourages dialogue through friendly conversation, reinforces social ties and strengthens relations between individuals and communities.

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Ebru artistry, or what is called the Turkish art of paper marbling in English, was added to UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014.

UNESCO Identity Card:

  • Official Name: Ebru, Turkish Art of Marbling
  • Criteria: Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
  • Date of Inscription: 2014
Turkish Art of Paper Marbling
Ebru, Turkish Art of Marbling