Turkish Archive

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Around 19th century, people of Istanbul used to have scribes to write or read their letters as they had very low literary knowledge. This oil-on-canvas painting shows one of those days. Artist Fausto Zonaro was born in Masi, which was in Austrian Empire, in 1854. He was very much interested in painting from the beginning and his parents decided to encourage his skill. After learning in a Fine arts Academy in Verona, he opened his own art school in Venice. But he was not fully happy with his way of life. He found the satisfaction in Istanbul. He attained the attention of aristocratic circles and started receiving works from them. Being pleased with his paintings, he got the title of court painter. Now we can […]

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In Islamic culture, there is a concept of Iman. It consist the 6 basic elements. Those elements believe in god, angels, prophets, religious books, Day of Judgment and the ultimate fate pre-decided by God. Anyone who believes and follows these elements is having the Iman. Greatly influenced by Islamic culture while he was living in Islamic country Istanbul, he came to know more about the religion. This knowledge and influence reflects in some of his works. This is an oil-on-canvas portrait of an Imam – Islamic leader and the provider of religious guidance. He seems immersed in the thoughts of godhead. Looking at his half-opened mouth, we can say he is chanting some religious hymns. The raised hand in blessing pose is showing his spiritual […]

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The beautiful landscape seems to be a depiction of a lovely afternoon at the banks of Bosphorus. Felix’s take on portraying landscapes with cultural importance of the place again strikes here with people gathered under a tree and the glimpse of the historically known city of Istanbul in the backdrop. Maybe Felix had a tendency to depict the places with some meaning or the importance inherited within them. Because, his choice of places and furthermore, the choice of vintage point from where he depicts the place always includes the major elements of the place, all of which has their own allegories and major part in the story of the place. In current the presented depiction, it just feels just a beautiful painting of an afternoon. […]

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This vivid representation of the 10th day of Muharram is achieved by the well-known Italian painter Fausto Zonaro when he witnessed the ceremony during his stay in Istanbul. He drew most of his picture reflecting the culture in various views and scenes. The current painting is a patent display of that important day for Muslims (Shia) community. The 10th day of Muharram or the Ashura Day is remembered as the day on which Hussein Ibn Ali was martyred in the battle of Karbala. Hussein was an Imam and due to his death Shia Muslims mourns on the day. But, this mourning doesn’t stop at despair but as a demonstration of their sheer dejection Shia Muslims often do flagellation by hurting themselves with lashes or swords […]

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