Feyhaman Duran

Who is Feyhaman Duran?

Feyhaman Duran is considered the first and most important representative of portrait art in Turkish Painting Art. He is one of the painters of the 1914 Çallı Generation. He is especially famous for his portraits of Atatürk and İnönü.
He was born in Istanbul in 1886. His father is Rüsamet Emaneti (Customs officer) Süleyman Hayri Bey. He lost his mother at a young age. His father fulfilled his wife’s will and enrolled his son in Galata Palace Humayun School, now known as Galatasaray High School, in 1895. Here, he became a student of painters Şevket Dağ, Tevfik Fikret and Viçen Arslanyan Efendi. At school, he attracted attention with his pen and India ink drawings, and later with his oil paintings, and he was especially successful in Calligraphy, that is, Fine Writing class.
As soon as he finished school in 1908, he entered the Sublime Porte as a clerk. In the same year, he was appointed as a Hüsn-ü Calligraphy teacher to the Galata Palace Humayun School, from which he graduated, and taught this course instead of his teacher, calligrapher Tahsin Bey. He went to Paris as a member of the student group sent to Europe by the Egyptian prince Abbas Halim Pasha, selecting among those who were successful in various departments of fine arts.

He described a coincidence related to the subject in his own words:

“I was an art teacher at Galatasaray High School, and one day I offered to paint a painting for a lady I knew. He said to me: 'I am old, what will happen if I paint a picture? "Make a picture of that little girl instead!" he said and took out a picture of a little girl from his bag and gave it to him. I turned this picture into a portrait. I didn't know the child. Later I learned that these were the fourth daughters of Prince Abbas Halim Pasha, one of the famous people of the time. Based on this painting, the Pasha had his five other daughters and some of his acquaintances paint more paintings, and I gained their appreciation, so I was sent to Paris to study, by them and with all my expenses covered. This was a happy turning point in my life.”
Feyhaman Duran, who studied art in Paris between 1911 and 1913, enrolled in the Jean Paul Laurens Workshop at Academie Julian, where young Turkish painters who were in Paris for the same purpose in those years also attended. He felt close to the Impressionism movement that emerged around this time.
He returned home when World War I started. He attended Galatasaray Exhibitions regularly every year since 1916. He took part in the exhibitions of the Ottoman Painters Society. He worked at the War Magazine and painted war pictures. Prof. at the First Galatasaray Exhibition. Dr. He received the "Silver Medal" and "Zikr-i Cemil Award" with his portrait titled Akil Muhtar.
In 1919, he was appointed as the "Usul-ü Tersimé" teacher at İnas Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi (Girls Fine Arts Academy). He served as the principal of this school after Ömer Adil Bey.
He married his student Güzin Hanım in 1922. In 1923, he was elected as a board member of the Turkish Painters Society. He continued to manage the association, which was named the Sanayi-i Nefise Union in 1926 and the Fine Arts Association in 1929, until the end of his life.
When İnas Sanayi-i Nefise School was closed as a result of the merger of Girls' and Boys' Sanayi-i Nefise Schools, he was appointed as Usul-ü Tersim teacher in 1927 and "Painting Workshop" teacher in 1933 at Sanayi Nefise School, which now provides co-education.
He was sent to Gaziantep in 1938 as part of the country tours organized by the Republican People's Party. Feyhaman Duran, who returned from here with ten works, was invited to Ankara in January 1939, together with İbrahim Çallı and Ayetüllah Sümer, to paint the portrait of İsmet İnönü.
The artist, who transferred the miniatures from the Topkapı Palace Museum collection to canvas upon the order of the Istanbul Maritime Museum when it was founded, worked in Topkapı Palace with his wife in the 1940s and had the opportunity to transfer the interior and exterior of the palace to canvas. II. Due to World War II, some of the museum collection was moved to Niğde as a precaution in 1943-1947 and the palace was closed to visitors. During this period, he took permission to work in the palace and had the opportunity to closely examine many works in the museum.
Duran designed the cover of his friend Sami Yetik's three-volume book called "Our Painters". He gave painting lessons with İbrahim Çallı and Sami Yetik in the workshop at Zühal Stationery Store in Vezneciler.
He retired in 1951. He donated his house in Beyazıt, where he continued his work in his retirement, to Istanbul University as a museum.
He died in Istanbul on May 6, 1970 and was buried in Edirnekapı Sakızağacı Martyrdom.

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