Byzantine art specialist Semavi Eyice dies aged 96

Byzantine art specialist Semavi Eyice dies aged 96

Byzantine art specialist Semavi Eyice dies aged 96

Turkish art historian Semavi Eyice has died of multiple organ failure at the Maltepe University Training and Research Hospital. He was 96. 

Born in 1923, Eyice specialized in the study of Byzantine and Ottoman art and was widely regarded as the pioneer of Byzantine studies in Turkey. 

He went to Germany to learn German and took classes from famous archaeologists, historians and art historians in Vienna. In 1944, he went back to Berlin and continued his study at Berlin University. 

Since 1946 he has published 15 books and more than 500 papers and contributions to encyclopedic works. 

His library, containing more than 30,000 rare editions and books dealing not only with Byzantine history and art, but also with Islamic, Turkish and Ottoman history, art and literature, is now hosted by the Istanbul Research Institute. 

In addition to his main scientific field in Byzantine art and archaeology, and Turkish art in the Ottoman era, he has done research on foreign painters and travelers who visited Turkey, and has also studied the traces left by the Genoese in Turkey. He was a member of several research organizations, including the German Archaeological Institute. 

Eyice, who was presented with the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Award in 2011, was also the holder of the Turkish Academy of Science Academy Award. 

Eyice’s funeral ceremony will be held on May 30 at Istanbul’s Fatih Mosque.