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Thomas Hope: Drawings of Ottoman Istanbul

March 24, 2016 – September 25, 2016

Benaki Museum, 1 Koumbari St. & Vassilis Sofias Ave / Museum of Islamic Art: 22 Ag. Asomaton & 12 Dipilou St.


Curated by Dr Fani Maria Tsigakou and Mina Moraitou, this exhibition reveals the magnificent and intricate drawings that Thomas Hope, the father of Regency style in England, completed while in Istanbul. His works feature topographic views and folding panoramas; individual scenes from different neighbourhoods; monuments; temples; Ottoman palaces; halls of the seraglios; gates; mosques; funerary monuments; and much more. The drawings are often accompanied by Hope’s detailed notes. The artist made the trip to Istanbul in the late 18th century as part of his Grand Tour, before going on to become an expert in architecture and decoration.

Not only was Hope an unparalleled designer, but he was also a virtuoso of linear draftsmanship – his excellent drawings are comparable to the qualities of miniature paintings. However, the importance of the Thomas Hope collection is not limited to the aesthetic pleasure it offers to art enthusiasts. It is also a unique treasure of visual testimonies which are of great importance for scholars of the Ottoman civilisation.

Mina Moraitou will lead guided tours of the exhibition on Saturday, May 28. Call +30 210 3671 015 for information and to reserve a spot.

Order the exhibition book here.


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