The Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) of the University of Sabancı hosts the exhibition “The Extraordinary World of the Prince: Abdülmecid Efendi” on the life and art of Abdülmecid Efendi, the last Caliph of the Ottoman Empire who had a lasting effect on Turkish art history.
Besides his patronage to many artists and institutions, he was an accomplished painter who was also interested in calligraphy, music and literature.
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“The extraordinary world of the prince: Abdülmecid Efendi” includes works of art from the collection of the SSM, 14 collections from official institutions, 17 family collections, private collections from museums and galleries, as well as works from France , where the Caliph has spent his last 20 years, with the support and cooperation of the French Institute of Turkey and the French Consulate in Istanbul.
The exhibition collection includes 60 paintings and more than 300 documents, as well as a self-portrait dated 1926 from the Collection of the Massena museum in Nice and two original framed paintings from the Pierre Loti House-Museum in Rochefort and offered to Loti by Efendi.
Offering a global perspective on the art of Efendi, the section “Abdülmecid Efendi Beyond Vision” presents the six paintings of Efendi from the SSM collection, which were, for the first time, the subject of a research study. scientist.
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The study carried out in collaboration with Sabanci University, Koç University and Istanbul University Faculty of Forestry, sheds light on Efendi’s painting technique, the restoration of his works, including structure, the color, layers of paint and texture of the materials he used and the conditions of artistic production. .
Describing the life of Efendi, Nazan Ölçer, Director of SSM, said: “Abdülmecid Efendi spent around 50 years of his life as a prince, four years as a crown prince, around 16 months as a caliph and the Last 20 years in exile. . In his 76 years of life, he witnessed three regimes – the absolute monarchy, the constitutional monarchy, and the republic – and endured two world wars.
“Along with his identity as a painter, he was interested in music and calligraphy. With his support for intellectuals and artists, with whom he maintains close friendships, he is extraordinary for the Ottoman dynasty from his principality. Aware of the spirit of his time and of the tensions between East-West and tradition-modernity, he lived his life as an Ottoman intellectual open to the West while remaining faithful to his religion and his tradition ”, declared lçer .
“In our exhibition, we will examine the prince’s relationship with literature and music, as well as his close friendship with the intellectuals and artists of the time, as well as his paintings,” she added.
Stating that visitors will see his three Fog paintings side by side, inspired by Tevfik Fikret’s poem, Ölçer said the museum explores Efendi with more than 300 documents, including the landscape paintings he gave to his close friend Pierre Loti, his letters, family photos, some of which have remained unknown, and many menus, including the invitation card given by his close friend Abdülhak Hamit for the premiere of his play, Finten.
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Visitors to the exhibition are accompanied by musical compositions by his father, Sultan Abdülaziz, who also made up the palace’s first comprehensive collection of paintings.
The exhibition will run until May 1, 2022.