View on the Bosphorus
View on the Nusretiye Mosque from the Bosphorus
Early 19th century.
A native of Malta, Preziosi first visited Istanbul in 1842, and depicting the city and its people in their distinctive costumes and attitudes was to be the focus of his artistic career thereafter. In the 1850s he worked for the Illustrated London News, and in 1866 Preziosi was invited to paint the official portrait of the Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz for the Turkish Pavilion of the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris. During his time in Constantinople, which he made his home, Preziosi became the most popular painter in the city. In the age of the Grand Tour, and before the commercial development of photography, such orientalist scenes as this would be highly sought-after as mementoes of a visit to such an exotic land. Preziosi's gift for depicting people and costume, and free flowing lines, along with attention to small details, made his work particularly appealing. As copies of two of his original works, which are now housed in the Pera Museum in Istanbul, their visible age and the quality of their execution, place them firmly in the artist's studio or very close circle.
Watercolour with gouache over pencil and ink on grey wove paper, 25 x 35 cm. (9 7/8 x 13 3/4 in).
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