‘Levantine’ painters
So far nothing is known about this painter, who signed himself as Commander Carelli, titled ‘Golden Horn’, a watercolour thought to be painted circa 1860. Possibly he represented one of the members of the ‘Italian school’, court painters invited by the Sultan, many of whom remained to add to the Latin Levantine population of Istanbul.
Sydney La Fontaine was a Smyrna Levantine and a gifted watercolourist. Here he depicts a scene familiar to many Istanbul Levantines, Moda bay, where their yatch club was based. The islands in the distance are the Prince’s Islands, and the date of both works is thought to be circa 1880s. The lower painting is a scene again probably done on commission as it depicts the summer retreat of many Smyrna Levantines, Lice (Ilica).
The pen and ink painting below has been in the Whittall family for a long time, and possibly commissioned by them, and possibly a Bosphorus scene executed in the latter part of the 19th century. The painting has been signed by M.C. Robinson, but no information on this person was found and there is no guarantee he was a Levantine or even a long term Istanbul resident.
Henry John van Lennep, ‘Turkish Cavass’ lithograf of C. Parsons, 1862 - New York. Henry John van Lennep, son of Dutch Levantines Richard and Adéle Marie (de Heidenstam), was a missionary, born in Smyrna in 1815, descended from an eminent family of Dutch scholars and writers, made many exploring expeditions, learned a whole host of Eastern languages, as a result of which he was able to publish in 1870 ‘Travels in Asia Minor’, illustrated such as example below, unusually in that time, by his own hand.
The examples of paintings done by Raffael Corsini, active in Smyrna, 1830-1880, painting mostly American and British ships in the harbour, works now commanding fair sums ($1-3.000). The one above is ‘Barque Juniata, Capt., Joseph Cheever Entering Smyrna April 22th 1852’ and below the same ship, ‘Barque Juniata, Capt., Joseph Cheever, at Smyrna Bay 1852’. Hardly nothing is known about this artist apart from he lived in Cordelio.
The Bark of Lincoln - image courtesy of Andrew Simes
The painting above also done by Rafael Corsini, is of another American bark ‘James Ramsay’ of Baltimore, dated 1833. The Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts has 15 works by the artist, all of American sailing vessels..
image courtesy of Andrew Simes
image courtesy of Andrew Simes
Bark ‘Lincoln’, another painting by Rafael Corsini, done 1853. The background in this is more true to life than some of the others where dramatic shore fortification are added possibly to add drama to the scene?
Rafael Corsini work with the title, ‘Southerner of Greenock, Captain James Grant Entering Smyrna 1864’, oil on board, signed lower right.
Examples of oil paintings done by Jak Edizel of Izmir (1913-1994).
image courtesy of Virna Mulino
image courtesy of Virna Mulino
dated 1943
At present an unidentified man and below his wife.
image courtesy of Andrew Simes
Some of the various murals done by Jak Edizel in St. Antoine Catholic Church of Bayraklı.
Jak Edizel was commissioned by Mr. [Herbert?] Whittall when he was a young man, in his early twenties, to copy many masters for him. He used to say that this was a defining point in his career as a painter; he learned so much in that process. In addition has painted murals at the St. Polycarp Catholic Church and a large painting of Jesus that is hung in SS. Rosario Church in Easter time and he also used to paint publicity paintings on building facades.
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