As one might conclude from the note the artist inscribed in the lower section of the painting, this work reveals the loading of the antiques collected by French Ambassador Choiseul-Gouffier on boat, to be shipped to France. Choiseul-Gouffier, who, together with Hilair, arrived in the Ottoman Empire for the first time in 1776 to map the Aegean, extensively used Hilair’s paintings in his book, Voyagé Pittoresque de la Gréce. This collaboration between artist and the diplomat, who had a penchant for Antiquity, persevered after Choiseul-Gouffier was appointed as ambassador to İstanbul in 1784. In the lower left section of the painting, one can see the antiques being transported to caiques. Despite the fact that the painting is the depiction of a particular event, the view of the Port before the city silhouette defined by monumental buildings, as well as the routine of daily life also come to the fore. The views of the Golden Horn and the Port, which include local figures smoking pipes, chatting, waiting to embark the boat, are compositions that frequently appear in Hilair’s paintings of İstanbul.


  • Title: Yeni Camii and The Port of İstanbul
  • Creator: Jean-Baptiste Hilair
  • Date Created: Late 18th Century
  • Physical Dimensions: w575 x h405 cm
  • Type: watercolor on paper
  • Rights: Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Collection, Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation
  • External Link: Orientalist Paintings Collection
  • Pera Museum: Orientalist Paintings Collection

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