Thomas Hope: Drawings of Ottoman Istanbul

An exhibiton of works by Thomas Hope (1769-1831) is currently underway at the Benaki Museum – The Keramikos Building.  A scion of a wealthy banking family, Hope went on a “Grand Tour”, a traditional trip to Greece and Turkey for the young men of his class, during the last quarter of the 18th century.

The exhibition reveals the artist’s works from the capital of the Ottoman Empire: Topographic views and folding panoramas of Istanbul, individual scenes from different neighbourhoods of Istanbul, monuments, temples, Ottoman palaces, halls of the seraglios, gates, mosques, funerary monuments, fountains, gates, the yalı on the Bosporus, the sultan’s entertainments boats. Other scenes include details from market shops, coffee shops, images of various men, women with children of Istanbul, depictions of costumes, architectural details, accompanied by lengthy explanations and descriptions with comments.

All works are of excellent quality because Thomas Hope was an unparalleled designer, a virtuoso of linear draftsmanship comparable to the qualities of a miniature painter.  However, the importance of the Thomas Hope collection is not limited to the aesthetic pleasure it offers to art enthusiasts. The designs constitute a unique treasure of visual testimonies for the scholars of the Ottoman civilization.

Exhibition curators: Dr Fani Maria Tsigakou, art historian and Mina Moraitou, curator of the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual publication (Greek and English) under the same title, edited by the curators of the exhibition.

Duration: 24/03/2016 – 25/09/2016
Benaki Museum
Kerameikos Building – 22, Agion Asomaton & 12, Dipylou streets, Kerameikos

SOURCE: Benaki Museum