Painting museum ready to host visitors with more than 3,000 works
The National Palaces Painting Museum in Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace has become one of the foremost painting museums in the world, with its collection of more than 3,000 paintings in its inventory and the opportunity to exhibit 553 paintings at the same time.
The museum, in which restoration has just been completed and furnished according to modern exhibition criteria, has an indoor area of 11,000 square meters and 34 halls.
The museum’s collection, which hosts many works of art dating back to the 16th century, includes works of painters such as Konstantin Kapıdağlı, Rupen Manas, Stanislaw Chlebowski, Fausto Zonaro, Ivan Konstantinoviç Ayvazovski.
Among the artists whose works are featured, there are also names that have left their mark on Turkish painting such as Şeker Ahmed Paşa, Osman Hamdi Bey, Şevket Dağ and the last Islamic caliph Abdülmecid Efendi.
The museum’s collection includes many subjects such as sultan portraits, historical compositions, orientalist works, nature and urban views, and still lifes.
People visiting the museum will also have the opportunity to see the country’s largest orientalist painting, “Hunting in the Desert,” an artwork by the French artist Félix-Auguste Clément.
Dated 1865, the 35-square-meter painting was taken from Said Halim Paşa Mansion in 2019 with a successful operation and was transferred to the museum.
The painting, which contains clues about the social and cultural relations between the Ottoman Empire and Egypt, is considered unique in terms of being a visual document.
Noting that Dolmabahçe Palace was remembered with bad images until the early 2000s, Yasin Yıldız, the head of the presidency’s National Palaces Department, emphasized that the palace has undergone a serious transformation since then.
“You can easily visit and see 65,000 works registered in the inventory where the storage units, which once reeked of moisture, have been turned into parts of the museum,” Yıldız said, stressing that the restoration on the relevant floors and partitions has been completed.
Meanwhile, paintings kept in the warehouses of Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace, one of the most famous landmarks of Istanbul that once was home to Ottoman sultans while the city was the capital of the empire, were also included in the painting collection.
A workshop was set up for the restoration of the paintings transferred from Topkapı Palace to the National Palaces Painting Museum.
A total of 337 works were brought to the museum while the pre-restoration, restoration stages and post-restoration status of the works were documented.
The information, condition and movements of the works were transferred to a digital system.
Located near Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait, Dolmabahçe Palace, which was commissioned between 1839-1861 by the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid and accommodated modern Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk until he died in 1938, attracts over a million visitors in a year.