Reproductions draw interest like originals

Reproductions draw interest like originals

MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency
Reproductions draw interest like originals

The reproductions of Osman Hamdi Bey paintings were displayed in 81 Turkish provinces before being delivered to the mansion in Muğla’s Yatağan district. AA photo

Reproduction paintings by pioneering Turkish painter, archaeologist and art expert Osman Hamdi Bey are being displayed at a mansion in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Yatağan district. The paintings are receiving as much interest as his works that are worth millions, according to local mayor Salih Özen.

The 120-year-old mansion - where Osman Hamdi Bey stayed in the 1890s during archaeological excavations at the Lagina ancient city - was restored and opened to tourism in 2010 with the support of the Muğla Governor’s Office.

Özen said the artist was the pride of Turkey in the world in terms of the history of art, adding that the mansion also displayed his personal belongings and household goods, as well as the reproductions of his paintings delivered to the museum by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

“The mansion sees visitors throughout the year. Especially after the oil painting ‘Girl Places a Vase’ was recently sold for 2.6 million Turkish Liras, more people started coming to the mansion. The paintings were displayed in 81 Turkish provinces before being delivered to us and are the same as the originals. This is why visitors are flocking to the mansion,” Özen said.

He said visitors to the mansion were given information about the paintings by experts. “We redesigned the works in the mansion last year, and the people who give the presentations here are experts. We have nearly 50 paintings in the mansion and visitors can carefully observe his well-known paintings like ‘The Tortoise Trainer,’ ‘Women Wearing Ferace,’ ‘Arms Dealer,’ and ‘Girl Places a Vase.’ We will promote Osman Hamdi Bey and the Lagina ancient site to the world through various projects,” Özen added.

“The Tortoise Trainer” was sold for the highest price of any Turkish painting and is currently being displayed at the Pera Museum in Istanbul, thanks to the Suna-İnan Kıraç Foundation.

Osman Hamdi Bey

Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) was the first representative of figurative painting in Turkey. He was also a leader in the Westernization movement in culture and arts in Turkey at the turn of the century. During the 1870s he worked at several assignments in the Ottoman state and on Sept. 11, 1881, he was assigned director of the Imperial Museum.

In the last decades of his life, he put his efforts into improving the museum and also concentrated on his activities as a painter. He lived in his family’s mansion in the village of Eskihisar, near Gebze, a district of Istanbul.

He also made frequent excursions - highly beneficial for inspiration, as reflected in his paintings - to another mansion he built during the Lagina excavations in the town of Turgut in Muğla.

His paintings, in which he wisely and skillfully employed Oriental elements, have since been included in many private and public collections in Turkey and abroad.

The year 2010, the 100th anniversary of Osman Hamdi’s Bey’s death, was declared by UNESCO the “Year of Osman Hamdi Bey.”