Saturday, September 9, 2017


Dolmabahçe, Beşiktaş - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'22.7"N 29°00'10.2"E / 41.039636, 29.002839


National Palaces Painting Museum (Turkish: Milli Saraylar Resim Müzesi) is an art museum in Istanbul, Turkey, opened at the Crown Prince Residence of Dolmabahçe Palace in 2014. The museum exhibits approximately 200 pieces from the palace's collection of paintings by both Turkish and international artists of the 19th century. The museum is funded by the TBMM.

A collection of 202 beautiful oil paintings done by Ivan Aivazovsky, Gustave Boulanger, Eugene Fromentin, Jean Leon Gerome, Stanislaw Chlebowski, Sandor Svaboda, Fausto Zonaro, Felix Ziem, Theo Van Rysselberghe, Karl Joseph Kuwasseg, Osman Hamdi Bey, Osman Nuri Paşa, Halil Paşa, Sekrit Dag and Omer Ben Mustafa is on display in the palace.

The historical building used to house the Istanbul Art and Sculpture Museum which was founded within the order of Turkey's first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1937 and served as part of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. After the renovation between 2010 and 2014, it was transformed into a new museum to house pieces of 19th and early-20th century art, which were mainly gathered from the palaces of Ottoman dynasty.

A portion of the Dolmabahçe Palace’s crown prince area, where the sultans’ sons were residing in the time of Sultan Abdülmecid, has been turned into the National Palaces Painting Museum after a seven-year restoration process.

Paintings on various subjects and in diverse styles by Turkish and foreign painters grace the walls of the palace’s salons and chambers. A major part of the collection was assembled during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz. The purchase of paintings in this period was made possible through the painter Şeker Ahmet Pasha, who was the sultan’s art consultant. Among them are works by artists such as Daubigny, Schreyer, Fromentin and Gérome.

A collection of 202 oil paintings is on display in the palace. The collection also includes paintings by Gustave Boulanger, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Eugène Fromentin, Stanisław Chlebowski, Félix Ziem, Karl Joseph Kuwasseg, Fausto Zonaro, Théo van Rysselberghe and Alexander Sandor Svoboda. There are also paintings by Turkish painters such as Osman Hamdi Bey, Halil Pasha and Osman Nuri Pasha in this art museum.

The palace collection also includes 30 oil paintings by Ivan Kostantinovich Ayvazovsky, who was in Istanbul prior to and during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz, and 20 works in various techniques by Fausto Zonaro, Sultan Abdülhamid II’s Chief Palace Painter. Besides the works of painters of military origin such as Captain Ali Rıza, Lieutenant Commander Hasan Behçet and Şeker Ahmet Pasha, those of other artists like Halife Abdülmecid, Osman Hamdi Bey and Hikmet Onat, all well-known pioneers in the art of Turkish painting, have also been added to the collection.

The “understanding of accumulating” in the period of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861), in which the paintings presented to the palace are predominant, led to the understanding of collecting works of art in the period of  Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-1876). The relation between Ahmed Ali (Sugar Ahmed Pasha), who studied painting in Europe, and his French teacher Jean-Léon Gérôme has shown some effects that have reached up to the palace.

He turned the accumulation in the palace into a collection, with the works of art purchased from Goupil Art Gallery in Paris that belongs to his father-in law, upon the orders of the palace and recommendations of Gérôme. Some painters such as the Polish painter Stanislaw Chlebowski who has served in the Palace; French Pierre Désiré Guillemet who has drawn pictures for the Palace, and Russian Ivan Konstantinovic Aivazovskythe have strengthened that accumulation.

The collection of the Palace has been diversified with the paintings of the  Italian painter Luigi Acquarone (1800-1896) in the period of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909), and with the paintings of Fausto Zonaro (1854-1929), another Italian painter,  who has served in the palace after his death, the portraits of the Western rulers given to the dynasty as a gift, as well as the works of art of the soldier painters, painters from Darüşşafaka (Ottoman Secondary School for Orphans) and the painters graduated from Sanayi-i Nefise (Academy of Fine of Fine Arts). At the end of the 19th century, an important accumulation was created in the painting collection, with the paintings entered the Palace in consequence of the exhibitions held in Turkey.

A rich accumulation consisting of the works of art in Dolmabahçe Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Yıldız Şale, Küçüksu Pavilion, Aynalıkavak Pavilion, Maslak Pavilion, and Yalova Atatürk Mansion constitutes the Paintings Collection of the National Palaces. Dolmabahçe Palace that hosted the first painting collection of our country has the majority in terms of the number of works of art. There exist very valuable signatures on some works of art among the orientalist paintings reflecting the mystery of the East, nature and city images, historical paintings and portraits.

The museum has more than 200 paintings displayed in 11 sections. Some of the displayed collections are listed below.

Paintings by Turkish Artists (1870-1930)
This collection consists of works by Ottoman/Turkish artists such as Şeker Ahmed Pasha, Osman Hamdi Bey, Hüseyin Zekai Pasha and Hoca Ali Rıza; which make up the second, third and fourth generation of the Turkish painting in Western sense.

Paintings by Court Painters
Works by artists such as Stanislaw Chlebowski and Fausto Zonaro, which respectively served to Sultan Abdülaziz I and Sultan Abdülhamid II as their court painters.

Paintings Bought from Goupil Gallery for the Palace
Two sections consist of paintings that were bought from the Goupil Gallery in Paris during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz I. The paintings that were bought in this era reflect the taste of Sultan Abdülaziz and his assistant Şeker Ahmed Pasha. A Western style collection of paintings was brought together for the first time at the Dolmabahçe Palace during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz.

Paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky
The Ceremony Hall, which is the most magnificent room of the structure with its stucco-lined walls and composite-headed plasters, is allocated to the Russian artist Aivazovsky.

Paintings by Abdülmecid II
The hall that exhibits this collection originally used to be the library of Sultan Abdülmecid II himself, who was born to become the last crown prince and caliph of the Ottoman dynasty. Interested in almost all branches of art, but particularly calligraphy and music, he remained a celebrated artist of Turkish painting.

Orientalist Paintings
The museum has a rich collection of works by 19th century Orientalist painters.

Photos Collection

As for the Photo Collection of the National Palaces, it has an important place in the Ottoman photography art developed within the triangle of Sultan-photographer-society. The collection consists of an important accumulation, which carries to our time the agenda of the Ottoman Empire, mainly that of the 33 years of period of Sultan Abdülhamid II. Sultan Abdülhamid II has attached much importance to photograph; followed up both his country and the foreign countries through the photographs; and moreover, he has made character tests on the photographs.


WEB SITE : National Palaces Administration

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 236 9000
Fax : +90 212 2593292

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