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Turks in Art: Painting – Sanatta Türkler: Resim
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Turks in Art: Painting – Sanatta Türkler: Resim

15 Ağustos 2015 18:45
Turks in Art: Painting – Sanatta Türkler: Resim



Wonders of Turkey ( Painting )

This means of expression, which dates back to the very earliest times, has also been employed by the Turks. It is known that the Turkish tribes on the steppes of Central Asia produced ‘animal style’ pictures, so called because of their subject matter. After the adoption of Islam, representational art was little used, on account of religious prohibitions, and decorative arts developed in its stead. For that reason, the concept of Turkish pictorial art tends to imply the art of painting that developed under the influence of the West and contemporary painting.

Even so, it must not be forgotten that certain works of art from earlier periods can actually be included in the category of pictorial art. A few, albeit not many, works have come down to us from the Sel…. of Anatolia. These are in the forms of relieves, or drawings on tiles. An extensive use of the miniature art form can be observed in the Ottoman period. During the reign of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, we know that artists were brought in from the West to paint the portraits of the sultan and members of his family. Ottoman artists were also sent to Italy. Initiatives of this kind rather stalled in later periods, although the art of the miniature survived within its own terms of reference. Miniatures were used to embellish handwritten texts and had a representational aspect to them. The symbolic predominates over the descriptive in this art form.

The first experiments with painting in the Western sense were made at such military and engineering schools as the newly founded Mühendishane-i Berri-i Hümayun or Land Engineering School, and the Mekteb-i Harbiye, the present day Land Warfare Academy. Training began with the preparation of maps and technical drawing, and shortly afterwards moved on to include free drawing. Instructors were brought in from the West for that purpose. Turkish students were also sent Western countries, especially to France, to improve their knowledge.

Reformist sultans supported the moves towards Westernisation in the 19th century. Mahmud II had his own portrait painted and hung on the walls of state offices. Abdülaziz personally engaged in painting. The works of the early Turkish painters, who generally had a military background, date from this time. On account of the rather frozen, amateurish feeling to their work these painters are known as the ’19th century Turkish primitives.’ They sometimes made use of photographs, and produced views of palace and mansion gardens of Istanbul. These figures include: Hüseyin Giritli, Hilmi Kasımpaşalı, Süleyman Sami, Ahmed Bedri, Salih Molla Aşki, Osman Nuri Paşa, Ahmed Şekür, Selahattin Bey, Şefik Bey, Necip Bey, Münip Bey, Ahmed Ziya Şam, İbrahim Bey, Mustafa Bey and Şevki Bey.

The most important development from the point of view of the art of painting was the establishment of the state school of art towards the end of the century. We know that a private school called the Painting Academy had been opened in Istanbul in 1874 by the artist Guillemet. Students at the school presented their works to the public at an exhibition in 1876. However, the first body to offer instruction in contemporary painting in Turkey was the Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi, later known as the Fine Arts Academy and the present day Mimar Sinan University), which opened on March 1, 1883. Painter and museum expert Osman Hamdi Bey had been brought in to head the school the previous year, and it was written that the school would be offering courses in ‘painting, carving, architecture and engraving.’ Training in painting henceforth tended to move to such new schools away from the military academies.
Turkish painters first came together under a common body in the 20th century. The association set up by Turkish painters was the Ottoman Painters Society, established in 1908. The name was changed to the Turkish Painters union in 1921, to the Turkish Fine Arts union in 1926,and again to the Fine Arts union in 1929. Organisations of this kind allowed solidarity between artists to emerge and provided the opportunity to engage in exchanges of ideas, and later supported progressive trends.

Following the establishment of the Republic, work in the field of painting was encouraged. The Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi was turned into the Fine Arts Academy in 1928. The bringing in of instructors from Western countries, and the sending of Turkish students abroad, continued during this period. Among the artists who graduated from the Fine Arts Academy in the early years of the Republic were such figures as Şeref Akdik, Refik Epikman, Mahmut Fehmi Cûda, Ali Avni Çelebi, Zeki Kocamemi and Turgut Zaim. A large number of artists produced by the Gazi Educational Institute (the present day Gazi University in Ankara) Painting Department, set up to deal with the lack of qualified teachers, took uppositions in the second painting school. Painting courses are today offered in the fine arts departments of a number of universities.

from the 1950s on, a wide variety of artistic trends, movements and ideas can be seen. Artists influenced by these different trends produced various works, though none was able to establish superiority over the others. Malik Aksel came to be known for his research in the field of popular science. Turgut Zaim established his own style with his landscapes. Bedri Rahman Eyüboğlu produced works ınspıred by handcrafts. Dabri Berkel is prominent in the field of abstract art. İbrahim Balaban is a self-taught artist inspired by the poet Nazım Hikmet. Fikret Mualla, who worked in Paris, proved himself in the international arena. Neşet Günal is known for his realistic depictions of people in rural areas. Adnan Çoker turned in the direction of abstract art, and Salih Acar was heavily influenced by nature.

Recently, artists such as Mehmet Pesen, Kayıhan Keskinok, Nedim Günsür, Fahir Aksoy, Şadan Bezeyiş, Nuri Abaç, Mustafa Aslıer, Turan Erol, Orhan Peker, Ruzin Gerçin, Ömer Uluç, Özdemir Altan, Dinçer Erimez, Mehmet Güleryüz, Devrim Erbil and Altan Gürman, as well as members of a later generatıon such as Neşe Erdok, Oya Katoğlu, Mustafa Pilevneli, Süleyman Saim Tekcan, Burhan Uygur, Ergin İnan, Gürkan Coşkun (known as ‘Komet’, Gülsüm Karamustafa and Balkan Naci İslimyeli have all made a name for themselves. Another artıst well known abroad for his forward-looking works is Bedri Baykam, from a younger generation still.

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