Categories
2015 blog entry Turkey 2015

Hagia Sophia (circa 550), one of the world’s greatest buildings

September 20 2015  Istanbul

Hagia Sophia miniature (4" x 6") acrylics on postcard stock
Hagia Sophia miniature (4″ x 6″) acrylics on postcard stock

 

The Hagia (Holy) Sophia (Wisdom) is a stunning domed building built as a Greek Orthodox cathedral in 537 when Istanbul, then called Constantinople,  was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire(also known as the Byzantine Empire).  Between 1204 and 1261 it was a Roman Catholic cathedral.   Following the conquering of the Empire by the Ottomans in 1453, the Hagia Sofia became a mosque.  In 1931 it was closed and then converted into a museum, which it is still.  The minarets and round domes give it an Islamic setting, and some of the interior maintains that influence as well.  Nonetheless it is an impressive structure, notably the dome, and for 1000 years it was the largest cathedral in the world, replaced in 1520 by the Cathedral in Seville.

Here are some stock photos of the interior.  It is way too dark and large for me to get good photos.   These are mosaics!
Mosaic from Hagia Sophia
Mosaic from Hagia Sophia

 

220px-Empress_Zoe_mosaic_Hagia_Sophia

220px-Hagia_Sophia_Imperial_Gate_mosaic_2

hagia sophia interior 1

 

hagia sophia interior 2

 

Categories
2015 blog entry Turkey 2015

Istanbul Modern is another pleasant surprise

The Istanbul Modern is another pleasant surprise in a city full of them.  The artists on exhibit when I visited yesterday were mostly Turkish, some trained here and others in the US and I think one or two in Germany.  Most of the work is representational but very creative in a modernist sort of way, as you can from the photos I’ve placed below.

The installations made sense-  how unusual- and were interesting as well- also unusual. One was a young man playing make-shift drums, another various people lip synching Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’   Behind thick sets of hanging strands of fabric hangs a geographical globe with stars and planets on the walls, while in another section is a political globe.    In a third room a face of a woman is projected onto a mannequin.  She is singing.
Not so pleasant is the getting there.  There are large signs and even an arrow pointing tot the enntrance.  The large signs do not point anywhere except for the one with the arrow, which points down a lonely, shabby alley.  I walked past it thinking this could not be.  But it was.
The location challenge came after I ran across an angry confrontation a few hundred meters from the entrance.  There was angry shouting and a man banging hard on the hood of a van.  There was pushing and shoving.  The police arrived.  I heard four bangs, someone with a notepad came running toward me.  I then turned around and scooted back a hundred meters, and crossed the street.  A security guard told me it was not gun shots, just more banging on the van I suppose, so I went on.  Traffic had piled up between me and the scene so I felt reasonably safe.
Here are some of the pieces I found interesting.  The first is fabric sewed onto canvas, probably my favorite, which given I am not a fabric art fan in general, is a strong endorsement:
Istanbul Modern fabric
Istanbul Modern fabric
Istanbul Modern
Istanbul Modern

IMG_9333IMG_9334

Istanbul Modern
Istanbul Modern
Istanbul Modern
Istanbul Modern

 

 

Categories
istanbul art

Miniatures and sketches from Istanbul

Istanbul has had its moments of beauty and grandeur.  You can relive a bit of it’s heyday in the Hagia Sophia, the Archaeology Musem and the Topkapi Palace.

 

Topkopi Palace (mini, acrylics)
Topkopi Palace (mini, acrylics)

[wpecpp name=”Topkapi Palace” price=”50″ align=right]

The Topkapi Palace, home of the Sultans, his harem and the eunichs since circa 1450:

Topkapi Palace Entrance   (mini, acrylics)
Topkapi Palace Entrance (mini, acrylics)
Topkapi Palace Courtyard (mini, acrylics)
Topkapi Palace Courtyard (mini, acrylics)

 

 

While we waited to get into one of the rooms at the Palace (we thought it was the main entrance, but we’d already passed it.  It was just one of the rooms!) I sketched a section of the lovely old wall.

 

 

Turkish woman in bus:

 

Categories
Turkey 2015

Haggia Sophia, a World Heritage Site, noted for its architecture and mosaics

September 20 2015  Istanbul

The Hagia (Holy) Sophia (Wisdom) is a stunning domed building built as a Greek Orthodox cathedral in 537 when Istanbul, then called Constantinople,  was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire(also known as the Byzantine Empire).  Between 1204 and 1261 it was a Roman Catholic cathedral.   Following the conquering of the Empire by the Ottomans in 1453, the Hagia Sofia became a mosque.  In 1931 it was closed and then converted into a museum, which it is still.  The minarets and round domes give it an Islamic setting, and some of the interior maintains that influence as well.  Nonetheless it is an impressive structure, notably the dome, and for 1000 years it was the largest cathedral in the world, replaced in 1520 by the Cathedral in Seville.

hagia sophia 1

 

Here are some stock photos of the interior.  It is way too dark and large for me to get good photos.

hagia sophia interior 1

These are mosaics!

220px-Apse_mosaic_Hagia_Sophia_Virgin_and_Child

 

Aya_Sophia_Mosaic

 

 

220px-Hagia_Sophia_Southwestern_entrance_mosaics_2

220px-Hagia_Sophia_Imperial_Gate_mosaic_2

 

220px-Empress_Zoe_mosaic_Hagia_Sophia