Posted by Ali R.Tuna on 02-04-2004 04:36 PM:

Paintings from Osman Hamdi bey and more rugs

Dear Turkotekers,
Further to the comments of Filiberto in the last tread , I am posting two pictures from Osman Hamdi bey , painter , pupil of Jean Louis Gerome and the founder of the Turkish islamic Art Museum and Archeology Museums.
Osman Hamdi bey was representing the oriental objects with high precision in his paintings. He particularly liked to render the architectural settings , the interior decorations and the carpets.
The first picture called the Carpet Merchant ( which he has donated to Wilhelm von Bode in Berlin Museum) represents the still classical scenery of a Western family being marvelled to carpets. Their guide behind them , is probably stunned by the price asked. I find the attitudes of each person in the scenery so real !

All three rugs in the forefront are Caucasians (please give us the types) while the one shown on the back is a central Anatolian of a well known type with ramheads (see C.Alexander collection for a similar one).

This carpet is represented again on the right , on the second picture called "Two ladies in a shrine" . The rug on the left on this picture is a Milas from Western Anatolia.


Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 02-05-2004 08:20 AM:

Hi Ali,

Thank you for presenting an Oriental Orientalist!

Incidentally, "Googling" the web for Osman Hamdi I found this:

Pascal Sebah (1823-1886) was a leading photographer in Constantinople, now the city of Istanbul. Constantinople, composed of many diverse peoples, was the capital of the Ottomon Empire and Sebah's career coincided with intense Western European interest in the "Orient," which was viewed as exotic and fascinating. Constantinopolitan photographers, such as Sebah and Abdullah Freres, had a ready market selling images to tourists -- of the city, ancient ruins in the surrounding area, portraits, and local people in traditional costumes, often holding water pipes. Sebah rose to prominence because of his well-organized compositions, careful lighting, effective posing, attractive models, great attention to detail, and for the excellent print quality produced by his technician, A. Laroche.
Sebah's career was accelerated through his collaboration with the artist, Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910). Osman Hamdi Bey posed models, often dressed in elaborate costumes, for Sebah to photograph. The painter then used Sebah's photographs for his celebrated Orientalist oil paintings. In 1873, Osman Hamdi Bey was appointed by the Ottoman court to direct the Ottoman exhibition in Vienna and commissioned Sebah to produce large photographs of models wearing costumes for a sumptuous album, Les Costumes Populaires de la Turquie. The album earned Sebah a gold medal, awarded by the Viennese organizers, and another medal from the Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz.

Like his master Gerome, Hamdi used photographs for his paintings… No wonder they produced very accurate pictures. In any case, this doesn’t make their works less enjoyable.

As for the attribution of the three Caucasians, the one in the middle is easy.
Well, almost easy - in fact that design has two denominations in the trade:

- Surahani, sub-category of Shirvan-Baku

- Orduthck Konakgend, sub-category of Kuba. Whatever, it’s East Caucasus.

The other two are more difficult.

The one on the right could be a Khila, again from the Shirvan-Baku region.

The one on the left is very unclear. That sort of half medallion visible at the end reminds me the "gubpa" ornament mentioned by Bennett (page 209 of "Caucasian") in relation to "hexagon columns" Shirvans…

I don’t know…



Posted by Wendel Swan on 02-17-2004 11:01 AM:

Dear Filiberto and all,

Filiberto, you point out that the design in the central rug in “The Carpet Merchant” has two denominations in the trade: Surahani and Orduthck Konakgend.

The most common name given to this class of rug in the trade would be “Golden Shirvan.” The absence of any reds indicate that it was bleached, a practice that some assume is only of recent origin. This painting demonstrates that some rugs were bleached at least 100 years ago.