Halil Paşa

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Who is Halil Pasha? (1857 Istanbul – 1939 Istanbul)

Halil Pasha, the first Ottoman painter to mix impressionism with love of nature, stands out with his open-air paintings as well as still lifes and portraits. Sections from Halil Pasha’s art-filled life are as follows;
Halil Pasha, the son of Tophane Müşiri Ferit Selim Pasha, one of the founders of Mekteb-i Fünûn-u Harbiye-i Şahane (War School), graduated from Mühendislikhane-i Berrî-i Hümayun, which he entered in 1869, in 1873. He served as Sultan Abdülaziz’s aide as Lieutenant Lieutenant, and the sultan prepared a workshop for him in the palace and enabled him to work.

Halil Pasha participated in the second exhibition opened by Şeker Ahmed Pasha in 1875. He went to Paris in 1880 and worked in the workshop of Jean Leon-Gérôme (1824-1904) and Gustave-Claude-Étienne Courtois (1852-1923) at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, and returned to Istanbul in 1888. In the same year, he received a medal for his work that was accepted to the Paris Exhibition.

The painter worked as a teacher at Kuleli Military High School and Military Medical High School. She received a bronze medal for her work Portrait of Madame X at the Salon des Artistes Français held in Paris in 1900, and a gold medal at the exhibition held in Vienna in 1906. Halil Pasha participated in the 1918 Şişli Workshop and Vienna Exhibition, while he served as the deputy director of the General Museum in 1905, he was appointed as an art teacher to the Military Academy with the rank of brigadier general in 1906 and retired in 1908.

Halil Pasha, one of the founders of the Ottoman Painters Society, became the director of the Sanayi-i Nefise School in 1917-1918. Among the students of Halil Pasha, who gave painting lessons to students interested in art, was Müfide Kadri, one of the first female painters. Ottoman Impressionists, who returned to the country from Paris with the beginning of World War I under the directorship of Halil Pasha, entered the staff of Sanayi-i Mekteb-i Âlisi and started the process of academic impressionism in education. He went to Egypt in the 1920s upon the invitation of Abbas Halim Pasha, a member of the Egyptian Khedive family. He reflected the bright sun and landscapes of Egypt, where he stayed for a while, in his paintings. Halil Pasha, who made classical and realistic paintings after his education in Paris, focused on still nature and portraits upon his return, and then turned to the open air; He gravitated towards landscapes with impressionistic effects, where he depicted the Bosphorus shores and their beauties, mansions, boats, sea movements, and reflections in the water. Halil Pasha addressed the changing light effects with the use of brushes and colors as a pictorial problem. According to Adnan Turani, Halil Pasha is the first Ottoman painter who combined pattern and brush writing, moved away from the primitive landscape tradition and mixed impressionism with the love of nature seen in the Barbizon School.
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