Book offers insight into Ottoman intellectual's life, art

Published 04.07.2019 01:30

Pera Museum has added a new publication on Osman Hamdi Bey to its Little Books Series. "Osman Hamdi Bey: An Ottoman Intellectual," which was prepared in the 15th anniversary of Osman Hamdi Bey's "Kaplumbağa Terbiyecisi" ("The Tortoise Trainer") inclusion in the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Orientalist Painting Collection, can be found at the Pera Museum store and bookstores.

Osman Hamdi Bey was an Ottoman intellectual who grew up during the innovative Tanzimat era. He was not only a prominent painter but also a major actor in the process of Westernization, a multi-faceted personality who played a pioneering role and fulfilled key functions in different disciplines of culture and arts, such as archaeology, museology and arts education.

The new book by Pera Museum Publications, which examines Osman Hamdi Bey as a pioneer in the field of arts and culture in the 19th century, is enriched with the works of researchers like Mustafa Cezar, Edhem Eldem and Metin And. The book, which examines the details of the life and art of Osman Hamdi Bey, one of the main actors of the Ottoman renewal and Westernization process, includes evaluations of Osman Hamdi Bey's painter identity. It calls people to take a step toward knowing Osman Hamdi as not only a famous artist but also a museologist, archaeologist, bureaucrat, theater writer and even novel hero, which are lesser-known aspects of his personality and interests.

Osman Hamdi Bey's unknown aspects

Osman Hamdi Bey, who is a well-known name and draws an extraordinary portrait with his versatile personality and different areas of expertise, and the milestones in his life are presented in a delightful content for readers and art lovers interested in life stories.

Important stops that shaped the career of the Istanbul-born artist such as Paris, Baghdad and Vienna, the Müze-i Hümayun (Istanbul Archaeology Museum) and the Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University), which are the well-established cultural institutions in which the artist played a great role in the establishment and management, his masterpiece "The Tortoise Trainer" and details from his other significant works are among the subjects of the book.

The book is filled with carefully selected images from family photographs to famous paintings and lesser-known drawings of the artist. There is also a selected bib

liography for those who want to read more about Osman Hamdi Bey and his period.

New touch on Turkish painting

Following his art education in Paris, Osman Hamdi Bey sent paintings to major exhibitions held in the European capitals and brought a fresh style to Turkish painting with his monumental sized figure works.

Although the figured scenes contain stylistic similarities with the works of the Western Orientalist artists of the time, the Orientalism of the artist, who observes the East from the inside, differs from the Western painters.

Osman Hamdi Bey's paintings do not include elements of violence and eroticism, which sometimes emerge as a powerful element of expression in Orientalist works. The figures in Ottoman clothes are shown in an Eastern space surrounded by Eastern objects. In addition to Orientalist scenes, portraits of people from the family circle and especially landscapes from Gebze and Eskihisar are among the works by the artist.

"Osman Hamdi Bey: An Ottoman Intellectual," which gives readers the opportunity to get to know the artist and his work better, is presented to art lovers in the Pera Museum store and bookstores.

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