Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) : The Tortoise Trainer

Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) : The Tortoise Trainer

10/14/2021, 9:32:29 AM
Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) : The Tortoise Trainer (Turkish: Kaplumbağa Terbiyecisi), 1906, Oil on canvas, 221.5 x 120 cm, Pera Museum, Istanbul #OsmanHamdiBey #Art #Paintings #Painters #Arthistory #realism #pittore #pittura #pintor #pintura #peintre #peinture #Arte #artista #Istanbul #Maler #Malerei #historical #Ottoman #masterpiece #masters #Turkish #Turkishart #academic #painter #orientalism #orientalist #tortoisetrainer #Peramuseum Among the many pupils and followers of Gérôme's, the first and last Orientalist painter of the Ottoman Empire was Osman Hamdi Bey. As a gifted, intellectual artist, he had the unique opportunity to observe the East from within. Rather than depicting the “other” as a number of foreign painters did, he portrayed his own culture and propounded his own cultural perceptions. His works, which often reflect the Ottoman tradition and culture, manifest a meticulous and realistic approach to all the elements featured in a scene, ranging from daily life to architecture and from objects to ornamentation. Osman Hamdi is an artist who not only incorporates the use of figures, but also introduces an intellectual dimension to Turkish painting. The Tortoise Trainer should thus be evaluated in light of this dual aspect. Osman Hamdi, who often used his own photographs as models in his figurative compositions, once again repeats the same technique in this painting and depicts himself in the appearance of a dervish. The architectural décor suggests that the scene takes place in one of the upper-story chambers of Bursa’s Green Mosque (Yeşil Camii). The dervish, slightly bent over, is examining in a contemplative fashion, the tortoises roaming on the floor. He sports an araqiyya, a flattish skull cap commonly worn by dervishes, with a destar, or sash wrapped around it. He wears a belted, long red robe; his feet are clad in slippers for indoor wear. He holds a ney in one of the hands he has clasped behind; a nakkare, or a small kettledrum hangs down from his back. The dervish is to train these thick-shelled, laggardly tortoises not by using force, but rather by playing the ney and nakkare, namely through art.(Peramuseum)

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