Caiques and Sailboats at the Bosphorus

Félix ZiemSecond half of the 19th Century

Pera Museum

Pera Museum
Istanbul, Turkey

Felix Ziem must have completed this painting, in which he depicts the animated life of the Bosphorus, after having returned to his country, using the sketches he made in İstanbul. While Zeim was an artist who was able to produce works of various styles such as portraits, still life, genre scenes, and historical depictions, he is primarily renowned as a landscape artist; he was an active member of the Barbizon school, which primarily focused on the depiction of nature. In this painting, İstanbul is represented through a few mosque silhouettes in the background. Nonetheless, as in his Venetian scenes, the painting emphasizes the picturesque union of the city, the sea and human figures, which have been reduced to mere color stains. Ziem, who produced his own paints from natural pigments, influenced other artists with the use of color in his paintings. Van Gogh, for instance, once noted that he would like to “make blues like Ziem does”. The artist is known to have used “lapis lazuli” for the dominant blue color in this painting.


  • Title: Caiques and Sailboats at the Bosphorus
  • Creator: Félix Ziem
  • Date Created: Second half of the 19th Century
  • Physical Dimensions: w810 x h550 cm
  • Type: oil on canvas
  • 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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