Millions of Pounds worth of art are on display today and tomorrow at the Katara Cultural Village as part of a travelling exhibition of Islamic and Ottoman Art and Orientalist Paintings by 19th Century European, Russian, and American artists.
The exhibition is a preview of forthcoming sales at Sotheby’s London within Turkish and Islamic Week: Classical to Contemporary, which runs from April 24-26 and which will include the following sales: The Orientalist Sale; An Eye for Opulence – Art of the Ottoman Empire from private collections; Arts of the Islamic World; and Contemporary Art/Turkish.
Sotheby’s Senior Specialist in Orientalist Paintings Claude Piening and Islamic Art Specialist Benedict Carter will be presenting lectures on the exhibition for art coinnesseurs.
Today at 4pm, lecture tours entitled ‘A Royal Dagger: Adornment or Armament?’ and ‘Ivan Aivazovsky: Painter to the Sultans and to the Tsars’ will be presented.
The 8pm tour subjects will be: ‘Osman Hamdy Bey: Traditionalist Painter or Ahead of his Time?’ and ‘Iznik Golden Horn Jug: Ceramic of the Sultans’.
Tomorrow the tours on Osman Bey and Iznik ceremics will repeat at 11am, and the lectures on daggers and Ivan Aivazovsky will repeat at 2pm. The final 6pm lecture tours will be: ‘An Ottoman Presentation Sabre: a Weapon of Ceremony’ and ‘Ottoman Court Portraits: the Dawn of Orientalist Art’.
On April 24 Sotheby’s London will auction a private single owner collection of Ottoman art entitled ‘An Eye for Opulence: Art of the Ottoman Empire’. The collection is the result of over thirty years of passion and connoisseurship on the part of the owner. This is reflected in the sophisticated array of objects, textiles and paintings spanning the 15th to 19th centuries.
A fine work of art being exhibited in Doha is an Iznik polychrome dish depicting a peacock, originating from Turkey, circa 1580, estimated £30,000 – 50,000. The dish is similar to examples held in the collections of the Louvre in Paris and the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.
Another superb work from the collection being exhibited is a 17th Century North Italian School profile portrait of Sultan Murad I (r. 1359-89) with an inscription noting his assassination, estimated at £150,000-200,000.
On April 25 Sotheby’s London will hold the Arts of the Islamic World sale, which includes a number of masterpieces of Muslim craftsmanship from across the Islamic world. The selection of highlights visiting Doha for exhibition include an Ottoman sabre and scabbard with silver-gilt mounts set with turquoise and gold-inlaid hade panels, crafted in Turkey during the first half of the 17th century, estimated at £350,000 – 600,000. The collections also includes a magnificent dagger with ottoman gold-inlaid jade hilt and watered-steel blade, signed by Faizallah Shushtari Isfahani, Persia, Safavid, 17th Century, estimated at £400,000 – 600,000. An Artuqid silver-inlaid brass basin made for Sultan Qara Arslan Ibn Il Ghazi in Anatolia during the second half of the 13th century is estimated at £300,000 – 500,000. This is one of only a handful of extant vessels bearing the name of a ruler from the branch of the Artuqid dynasty based in its metropolis Mardin, and the only one still in private hands.
Sotheby’s Orientalist Sale on April 24 comprises 31 masterpieces depicting scenes of the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, and the Levant. Orientalist painting, which portrays the landscapes, daily life, and traditions and customs of the region, reached its height in the nineteenth century. Today, it remains a hugely popular genre among both private and institutional collectors around the world. The selection of important paintings currently being exhibited in Doha, includes Osman Hamdy Bey’s The Scholar - a beautiful oil-on-canvas painting depicting a reclining man at study before a richly detailed background. Executed in 1878, it shows the young artist at the very height of his powers. Osman Hamdy Bey was a native of Constantinople who trained in Paris during the 1860s and the first Turkish artist to fully embrace an academic, European style. Hamdy Bey became a central figure in the Ottoman Empire, having served in diplomatic positions on his return from Paris, and later becoming the founder and director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul. The work is estimated at £3 – 5mn.
Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky’s View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus, executed in 1856 at the height of his career, celebrates the beauty and dynamism of the Ottoman capital, a city that held Aivazovsky’s fascination from the moment he first visited it in 1845 as painter to the Russian Admiralty. This panoramic view, looking south west towards Seraglio Point with the Nusretiye Mosque in the foreground, is estimated at £1.2 – 1.8mn.
The exhibition, being held in Building 22 of Katara Cultural Village, will also include works by Rudolf Ernst, Frederick Arthur Bridgman, Alfred Dehodencq, Eugen Bracht, and Edward Lear.
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