Master Osman expresses a wish to counter what he perceives to be false accusations aimed at the old masters. He defends the fact that he forgets people easily and treats most people like morons, and adds that masters do not like innovation because “there is truly nothing new worth liking.” During Enishte’s funeral, Master Osman is so moved that he almost forgets that during his lifetime, Enishte forced Osman to copy the European style of painting. After a long period working on an illustration, Master Osman walks out into the street and is delighted by what he sees. He notices a dog, a horse, and a tree, and as he walks through the Hippodrome he feels like he is inside one of his own paintings. A page boy leads him to the Sultan’s Private Garden, where the Head Treasurer and Commander of the Imperial Guard are waiting. Osman observes that they are like an angel and devil, explaining that the Commander is responsible for torturing and executing people.
Master Osman is, to some extent, a human manifestation of the traditional style of miniature painting. His attitude toward change and innovation is rather typical of an older person whose authority within a particular tradition is well-established and who personally benefits from the conservative maintenance of that tradition. Osman’s life is so closely bound up in his practice as a miniaturist that, walking through the streets of Istanbul, he feels like he is inside a painting. However, the fact that he notices a dog, a horse, and a tree suggests that he is perhaps not actually in his own painting, but rather inside Enishte’s book.
The Head Treasurer mentions the book and states that the Sultan thought Master Osman would be too busy to work on it. He adds that the Sultan is furious about Enishte’s murder and has ordered that the book must be finished and the murderer found. He also explains that Black believes one of the master miniaturists is the murderer, yet Master Osman maintains that the miniaturists are incapable of such an act. The Commander notes that they have permission to use torture while interrogating Black, but that they don’t want to hinder the progression of the book. Master Osman imagines the miniaturists being tortured and urges that they not be harmed. The Head Treasurer and Commander bring out the illustrations for the book and ask if Master Osman knows which miniaturist completed which illustration. Osman replies that he does, and at that moment, the Sultan arrives.
At this point in the novel, Enishte’s book does indeed seem to be an omen of violence and destruction. The miniaturists’ involvement with the book has made them all suspects in Enishte’s murder, and it seems that the book will now be used as a clue in order to identify the murderer. At this moment, the novel’s two main plots are united: the murder mystery and the narrative surrounding the creation of the book. The themes of art, identity, life, death, virtue, and sin are thus united through the book and through the mission to discover the identity of the murderer.