View of an Ottoman Fountain and Mosque
This painting depicts several groups of men in conversation, shaded beneath trees next to a fountain and a mosque. The mosque bears a tall, slender minaret, a domed roof, and a series of arches made from red and white alternating voussoirs (arch stones). This style of architecture, in addition to the domed fountain resting on columns, is characteristically Ottoman.
The painter, Aram Bakalian, was an Armenian artist born in the neighbourhood of Üsküdar in Istanbul. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1890, then went to Paris in 1902 to study at the Académie Julian. After a brief return to Istanbul, Bakalian settled in Paris in 1919 where he took part in collaborative exhibitions with French artists. He was awarded the ‘Palme des Académies Officier’ by the French government in 1932 for his solo exhibition of approximately 100 paintings. He is known particularly for his still life paintings and landscape scenes of Istanbul.
Literature: Kürkman, Garo. Armenian Painters in the Ottoman Empire: 1600-1923, Matusalem Publications, Istanbul, 2004, pp. 220-21.