An Orientalist in Mardin: Marius Bauer

An Orientalist in Mardin: Marius Bauer

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
An Orientalist in Mardin: Marius Bauer

Works by the Dutch painter Marius Bauer from the collections of important museums in America and Europe are on display at the Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum in the eastern province of Mardin.

The exhibition “An Orientalist in Mardin: Marius Bauer” has opened at the Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum Dilek Sabancı Art Gallery. Works by the Dutch painter Marius Bauer from the collections of important museums in America and Europe, especially of the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam, are being presented to art lovers during the four-month exhibition. Bauer made several journeys through Turkey and was a great admirer of Turkish culture.

With drawings, etchings, water colors, oil paintings and letters, the exhibition takes the visitor on Bauer’s travels through Turkey. Bauer arrived for the first time in Istanbul by boat in 1888. He disembarked and was immediately captivated by the life, the culture and the industriousness that he encountered there. Narrow streets, markets, bazaars and intimate sightlines, full of people engaged in everyday activities: playing music, trading wares, or on their way to or from the mosque.

Occasionally he would catch a glimpse of the Sultan and his retinue. It can be concluded, from the letters that Bauer wrote in Turkey to family and friends, that he undertook long walks every day with his sketchbook under his arm. This resulted in a large number of sketches and drawings that formed the starting point of a great quantity of work when he returned to the Netherlands.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition on May 15, Sabancı University Head of the Board of Trustees, Güler Sabancı said, “Like all artists enchanted by the east, Bauer was a traveler. He undertook his first voyage, during which he would fall under the spell of the east, in 1888 when he was 21. He sailed to Ottoman Turkey, stopped at İzmir and then made his way to Istanbul. We are overjoyed to have opportunity to bring Bauer’s works back to the country he could never forget.

This is an exhibition to the highest western standard in the easternmost part of the east. I am grateful to all those who have made a contribution to the exhibition, starting with the Province of Mardin.”

The Sabancı Foundation Head of the Board of Trustees, Dilek Sabancı commented on the exhibition saying that with the new exhibition, they were presenting a selection of paintings by Marius Bauer, one of the most important Orientalist painters of the Netherlands.

“With this exhibition we have advanced the Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum and Dilek Sabancı Art Gallery to an international level. I sincerely believe that together we will raise artistic and cultural awareness even further through our future exhibitions and educational programs,” she added.

A stroll through Istanbul

The exhibition is laid out in accordance with the travels and walks that Bauer undertook in Turkey, especially in Istanbul. Visitors can discover what Bauer saw, via the themes of Harbor Views, Cityscapes, Street Life, Bazaars and Markets, Music and Dance, Mosques, Evening Atmosphere, The Sultan and his Retinue, Figures, and A Thousand and One Nights. Each of these themes contains works realized with different techniques and materials, produced on various dates.

The exhibition expresses Bauer’s fascination with life in Turkey at the turn of the 20th century, which he attempted to capture in an occasionally almost romanticized and fairytale manner.