Portraits From The Empire

Portraits From The Empire, A Selection From the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Orientalist Painting Collection


Antalya Culture and Arts will gather a selection from the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Orientalist Painting Collection in the “Portraits From the Empire” exhibition, opening on 25 March 2017.


Throughout the ages, the Orient has attracted the interest of the West. European intellectual and artists have been mesmerized since the earliest times by this presumably mysterious and relatively closed world. As a natural consequence, during various periods many artists, either by travelling themselves or by travelling in their imaginations, sought to discover the essence of the Orient, and depicted or expressed in their works either the real Orient or their own visions of it.


The exhibition “Portraits from the Empire” sheds light on a special part of this opulent world. 47 paintings, which were selected from Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Orientalist Painting Collection,bring us face to face with peoples of the Ottoman world, their portraits and portrayals, sometimes very familiar and sometimes remote in their physiognomies. These paintings, most of them created before the eye of the camera replaced the human eye, in the times when observing, studying, interpreting and depicting the world was the priority of painters, invite us to rethink the orientalism and the perception of “the East” in the West at different periods of time.


The exhibition consists five sections, including “Sultans and Portraits”, “Portraying Ottoman Society”, “The World of Women and the ‘Harem’ as Seen by Western Painters”, “Ottoman Women and Daily Life”, and “Women, Costumes, Portraits”. “Portraits From the Empire”, organised collaboratively by Pera Museum and Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, can be visited until 3 September 2017 at Antalya Culture and Arts.