Museum to host works of founder of Turkish painting
A special section for the works of Osman Hamdi Bey, a prominent cultural figure of the early Turkish Westernization who is also considered the founder of Turkish painting and archaeology, has been opened in the Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum.
The works of the artist, who is also the founder of Mimar Sinan University Fine Arts Faculty, will be permanently presented to art lovers on the third floor of the museum with an exhibition held as part of the 140th-anniversary celebrations of the school.
Professor Zeynep İnankur is the curator of the section where all Osman Hamdi Bey’s works and his belongings in the museum inventory are exhibited. The event also stands out as the most comprehensive Osman Hamdi Bey exhibition ever opened.
While the artist’s works are exhibited side by side with his photographs showing how he uses himself and the places as models in his paintings, the crowd-pulling event also features rarely seen certificates, diplomas, medals, and palettes of Osman Hamdi Bey.
In the exhibition, which is divided into three sections as portraits, landscapes, and orientalist works, his lesser-known landscape paintings are among the remarkable parts of the event, apart from iconic paintings such as “Woman with Mimosa.”
Being a pioneer of contemporary Turkish painting, Osman Hamdi Bey is best known for his work “The Tortoise Trainer” in Turkey and the world today.
His painting was sold for a record price ($3.5 million) in 2004.
He also prepared a special regulation for the archaeological issues in Ottoman territory, banning foreign nationals from smuggling archaeological findings to foreign countries, which has been vital for Turkish archaeology until today.