‘Impressions from Afar’ at the Istanbul Research Institute

By Cornucopia TR | May 19, 2011


The work of Clara and Luigi Mayer has always seemed to stand apart from many of the more famous orientalist painters. In their work there is a lightness of touch, a clarity and a charmingly strong individuality. Luigi Mayer first travelled to the Ottoman Empire in 1776, as a close friend of Robert Ainslie, the British Ambassador to the Sublime Porte. Joining Ainslie's archaeological expeditions across Anatolia, Mayer was furnished with ample material for his delicate paintings. Returning to Istanbul Mayer married his wife Clara. Many of their paintings were given to the British Museum on Ainslie's death, as part of his collection. Ten paintings on display as part of 'Impressions from Afar' are from the Suna and Inan Kiraç Collection itself.

The exhibition, at the Pera Museum's all-too-often overlooked Istanbul Research Institute, aptly follows Cornucopia 45's cover story on JF Lewis. Like Lewis, the Mayers married realism with charm and naivety, offering a refreshing point of view of Ottoman Constantinople. The exhibition, which began on March 23rd, runs until October 23rd.

İstanbul Research Institute, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No: 47, 34443 Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu -

Posted in Fine Art Tagged clara mayer, istanbul research institute, jf lewis, luigi mayer, orientalist art, ottoman empire, pera museum, robert ainslie
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