The painting Tortoise Trainer by Osman Hamdi Bey is one of the most important works of Turkish art. This painting describes the tired state of an intellectual trying to modernize a structure that resisted change in Ottoman society. With its creativity, power and symbolism, this painting of turtles being tamed is one of the most striking examples of contemporary art. In this article we will learn more about the Turtle Trainer.
Who made the Turtle Trainer?
The Tortoise Trainer was built by Osman Hamdi Bey, who lived between the last period of the Ottoman Empire and the early years of the Republic. Osman Hamdi Bey is a painter, archaeologist and museum curator who made a great contribution to the development of Turkish art. He is also Turkey’s first museum director. The Turtle Trainer is considered one of the artist’s most important works.
When was the Turtle Trainer made?
The Tortoise Trainer is a painting that Osman Hamdi Bey drew in two different versions in 1906 and 1907. The first version was made in 1906. The second version was made a year later, in 1907. Both versions cover the same subject, but there are also some differences.
What is the difference between versions of Tortoise Trainer?
There are two different versions of the Turtle Trainer. The first version was created in 1906 and is included in the collection of İktisat Bank. It was later purchased by the Pera Museum and can still be seen here. The second version was made in 1907 and is currently in the collection of Belma Simavi. The differences between the two versions are the small details, such as the presence of six turtles instead of five, the boxed line on the wall and the addition of the jug by the window.
What does the turtle trainer say?
The Tortoise Trainer is a work that has many different interpretations. However, the generally accepted view is that this work emphasizes the importance of art for education and the transformation of society. The man in the long dress we see in the work may be Osman Hamdi Bey himself or is a symbol. The hump on the man’s back and the ney in his hand may have been used to describe society’s difficulties. Turtles, on the other hand, were chosen as animals that are difficult to tame due to their slowness. This emphasizes the difficult changeability of society.
Another interpretation relates to candles planted on the backs of turtles. During the evening entertainment in the Tulip Age, candles are placed on the backs of the turtles, creating a magnificent view. For this reason, turtles can also be seen as an animal that symbolizes wealth and splendor. Finally, Turtle Trainer also overlaps with Osman Hamdi Bey’s understanding of art. Osman Hamdi Bey is one of the pioneers of the Westernization period in Turkish art. During this period, Turkish art began to change under the influence of the West. The works of Osman Hamdi Bey also emerged in this process of change. The Tortoise Trainer is also important in terms of adapting the realistic style seen in Western art to Turkish art.
What is the story of the Turtle Trainer painting?
The Tortoise Trainer, drawn by Osman Hamdi Bey in two different versions in 1906 and 1907, symbolizes the conflict between the parts of society that resist change and are open to change.
What is the inspiration for the Turtle Trainer?
While there is no exact information about the source of inspiration, it has been suggested that the painting may have been inspired by the release of the turtles by being decorated with candles during Sadabad entertainment or by the engraving in a magazine called Tour du Monde.
How many versions of Turtle Trainer are there?
These are the well-known versions of the Tortoise Trainer, which Osman Hamdi Bey drew in two different versions in 1906 and 1907.
Whose collection is the Turtle Trainer painting?
The first version is exhibited in Pera Museum and the second version is exhibited in the Belma Simavi Collection.