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Panorama of İstanbul

Antoine de FavrayLate 18th Century

Pera Museum

Pera Museum
Istanbul, Turkey

Panoramic İstanbul views hold an important place among the paintings de Favray produced in İstanbul. The fastidiousness and accuracy with which details are incorporated into the landscapes render these works an important documentary character. As often practiced by other Western artists of the period, the views of İstanbul are painted from the embassies in Pera, and particularly from the Russian Palace, where the artist resided for some time during his stay in İstanbul. According to the French diplomat Auguste Boppe, whose book Les Peintres du Bosphore published in 1911 introduces European artists working on the 18th century Ottoman world, de Favray initially painted this cityscape for French Ambassador M. de Vergennes upon his arrival in İstanbul in 1762 and reproduced it in 1770 and 1773 for Knight of Malta Etienne-François Turgot. In his letters to the Knight, de Favray offers a detailed description of the composition and introduces the various quarters and outstanding structures of İstanbul featured in the painting. Furthermore, he also shares with Turgot the difficulty of painting outside the confines of the embassies and praises Pera’s location overlooking the city as an ideal vantage point for İstanbul paintings. According to this letter, the gardens in the foreground of the painting belong to the Russian Palace. In addition to various districts of İstanbul, Topkapı Palace and a building complex, which de Favray refers to as the Asian Palace, are also discernable in the painting. In his letter to Turgot, Favray writes, “... a palace is visible. It is called the Asian Palace. Sultan Murad IV had the palace constructed in Persian style upon his return from the Baghdad military expedition. Today, the palace is abandoned....” When compared to the works of other artists such as Hilair and Cassas, it can be concluded that the building complex in the Harem area is the “Kavak Palace” which no longer exists. The high, snow-capped mountain in the background, to the right, is Uludağ.

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  • Title: Panorama of İstanbul
  • Creator: Antoine de Favray
  • Date Created: Late 18th Century
  • Physical Dimensions: w2130 x h1000 cm
  • Collection: Orientalist Paintings Collection
  • Type: oil on canvas
  • Rights: Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Collection, Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation
  • External Link: Orientalist Paintings Collection

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