İbrahim Çallı

Who is İbrahim Çallı?

After completing his secondary education in Çal, his birthplace, and Civil High School in Izmir, he was sent to Istanbul by his family to enter the military school. However; He turned to painting, which was his childhood passion, and started taking painting lessons by joining the students of Vefa High School who were staying at the inn where he was staying at that time and taking painting lessons. When he had his money stolen and got into financial difficulties, he worked in different jobs such as petitioner and later as a clerk in the courthouse. He met a painter of Armenian origin and took painting lessons from him. Çallı, who also took painting lessons from the painter Roben Efendi, met İzzet Bey, the son of Şeker Ahmet Pasha. Upon the suggestion of Şeker Ahmet Pasha through İzzet Bey, he entered the Sanayi-i Nefise School, now known as Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, in 1906. He finished six years of school in three years.
With the amendments made to the Constitution with the declaration of the Second Constitutional Monarchy, political, artistic and intellectual rights were given to all segments of society in almost every field; With the suggestion of the painter Mehmet Ruhi Arel, most of them were graduates of the School of Fine Arts, Sami Yetik, Şevket Dağ, Hikmet Onat, Agah Bey, Mehmet Ruhi Arel, Ahmet Ziya Akbulut, Halil Pasha, Hüseyin Zekai Pasha, Nazmi Ziya Güran, Hüseyin Avni Lifij, Feyhaman. Duran became a member of the Ottoman Painters Society, the first organization of Turkish painters, consisting of young painters such as Mehmet Ali Laga and Müfide Kadri.
He won the scholarship exam held by the Ministry of Education in 1910 with his works The Naked Man and Maksut Sergeant from the Guard Regiment of the Army of Operations and was sent to France. He continued his education in Fernand Cormon’s workshop in Paris between 1910 and 1914.

He returned home with the start of World War I. The artist, who was appointed to the Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi as Vallaury's assistant, exhibited his works produced within the scope of the "Şişli Workshop" events, which were held to convey the changing face of the Turkish society to the allied countries through art, in the Vienna and Istanbul exhibitions in 1917, in which he participated with six of his works. He won the Medal. The 1914 Generation was known as the "Çallı generation" after him.
It is possible to understand from the students he trained that Çallı, in addition to being a good artist, was also a good teacher. Şeref Akdik, Refik Epikman, Saim Özeren, Elif Naci, Mahmut Cuda, Muhittin Sebati, Ali Avni Çelebi, Zeki Kocamemi and Bedri Rahmi Eyüpoğlu can be listed among the students he trained.
Çallı, who was forced to retire from the academy in 1947 at the age of 65, expressed his sadness on every occasion. In the interview published in Her Hafta magazine the same year, he said, "I am truly grateful that I was separated from my children at my most productive time." When sculptor İhsan Bey was forced to retire, he reminded that they took action together with the academy committee and director and extended his term of office for three years, and then complained that his students did not support him for such an opportunity. In the same interview, it was also claimed that Çallı's criticism of Léopold Lévy, the head of the academy's painting department, was influential in his retirement.
Hasan Ali Yücel describes the last meeting with Çallı, who died in Istanbul as a result of stomach bleeding on May 22, 1960, in his article "My Friend Çallı", which he wrote on May 30, 1960, eight days after his death:
"The last time I saw him was around Taksim. That playful Çallı talked to me warmly, as if he was going to go on a long trip. His voice was as old and tired as a mournful moan, and he was shaking. We kissed when we were leaving, and we walked in opposite directions. With a strange inner urge, I turned around, what should I see, "He was looking at me too. We greeted each other once again."
About a year later, Hasan Ali Yücel also passed away.
In the İbrahim Çallı Hall of the Ankara State Painting and Sculpture Museum, which has been reopened for exhibition, there are paintings of the artists of the 1914 generation. İbrahim Çallı's Zeybekler painting has a special story. Çallı, who was also Osman Hamdi's assistant, opened an exhibition at the Ethnography Museum upon Atatürk's request. Seeing the painting "Zeybekler", which is also included in this exhibition, Atatürk turns to Çallı and says, "We could not find bread to eat during the Turkish War of Independence, how did the horses in your painting get so fat?" he asks. The master painter takes his materials and turns the horse in his painting into skin and bones.

İbrahim Çallı expressed his views on the use of color as follows during his discussion with Leopold Levy, who was the head of the painting department of the academy where he worked: "The result of the suggestions and interventions made to the students is that nature is shown to them in the same atmosphere and in the same color. However, our country is full of sun, light and color." It is his homeland. It has nothing to do with the dark gray skies of the West. Humanity has worked so insistently on the art of painting, in the valley of color, that every great artist has added one or two new colors to the palette. As for our expert (he means Levy, who is appointed with this title in the academy), "He is in favor of minimizing the color in the palette. Nature has such nuances that it is necessary to use colors specific to them. If the Turkish nation loves Çallı, it is because he expresses his beautiful country with his own colors."
Asst. Assoc. Dr. Özand Gönülal says that İbrahim Çallı's paintings can be generally grouped as landscape, still life, nudes and portraits; and continues: "When we look at the "Landscape" paintings, it is possible to find panoramic nature images as well as city sections and stories of daily life in nature, as in the "fishermen" painting."
Although he had a panoramic approach, as in his painting "From the Islands", he ensured that the forms forming the composition were emphasized more clearly. A documentary approach was displayed in his paintings reflecting city sections. "The painting titled "Bursa Tombs" is an important example of this approach."
In his work titled "Fishermen", the relationship between the boat, which completely dominates the painting surface, and the sea it is in, clearly reflects the dynamic character of a time period taken from life, rather than creating an image. On the other hand, although the form of the figures in the boat reflects a static structure, it demonstrates the existence of movement thanks to the stain values. With his brush stroke style and different color spots, he created a turbulent character to the sea in which the boat is located, thus creating excitement in the depths of the audience. "The fact that he collects the striking colors within the color scale used on the painting surface on the boat creates the impression that he is trying to draw attention to a difficult part of life that human beings live during the day."
"Still Life" has a different place in İbrahim Çallı's creative process. The light he uses in these paintings and the stain values and color scale that become evident with this indicate the existence of a passion that has roots in the depth of life. Although he depicts a dead nature in these works, it is possible to capture a dynamic related to life with the composition order and brush strokes."
Although an attempt was made to establish a relationship between his painting "Moon Flowers" and Van Gogh's "Moon Flowers", İbrahim Çallı expressed his life adventure, not a spiritual collapse. Especially the sunlight falling on the sunflower on the left of the composition and the stretched petals depict the excitement of life, not the silence of death.
İbrahim Çallı's portraits are works in which he is more concerned with form than his other paintings. However, among these works, it is possible to see the expression of the pictorial language used, which varies depending on the person whose portrait is painted. For example: In Celal Bayar's portrait, apart from reflecting personal identity, formal normativity was applied to reflect the seriousness of a statesman with his dressing and general stance, while in Neyzen's portrait, the stained values and brush strokes related to impressionism were carried out more freely.
In İbrahim Çallı's paintings of nude women, the figure-space relationship comes to the fore. Although the figure is in the foreground, other elements in the space appear before the viewer with the same effect. It is sometimes possible to see the reflection of the emotional dimension in the body shapes of the female figures in these paintings.
As a result, İbrahim Çallı, who stood out among the 1914 generation painters enough to give his name to this group, was one of the important driving forces in the Republic of Turkey entering a process towards the western understanding in the field of painting. The impressionist approach observed in all of his works exhibited a unique character rather than strictly applying the rules of the impressionism movement seen in European painting practices. This character emerges with Çallı's attitude in choosing the elements that make up the composition and creating the pictorial language.

Some of His Works
State Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions intermittently, but; Some of the works of Çallı, who regularly participates in Galatasaray Exhibitions, can be listed as follows:

Woman with Tambourine, Zeybeks, Arzuhalci*, Mevlevis, Landscape from the Bosphorus, Fisherman, Woman Smelling Roses, A Prom Night, Hatay's Longing for the Motherland, Women Taking a Morning Stroll on the Island, Moda Sea Bath, Woman with Tambourine, From Dolmabahçe Palace, Fishermen, Magnolias , Meadow and Houses, Naked woman sitting on a chair, Naked Woman, Turkish Artillery, Atatürk Portrait, İsmet İnönü, View of the Bosphorus from Yıldız Park, Göksu Stream, II. Tomb of Selim, Nude, Osman Hamdi Bey, Profile Portrait of Sculptor İhsan Bey, Woman Sewing, Woman in the Garden, Portrait of Dürrüsaf Hanım, Portrait of a Man, Woman in a Green Dress "Portrait of Miss Vicdan Moralı, Portrait of a Woman, Poet Yahya Kemal Portrait, Railway and Villagers, Reclining Nude, Portrait (Çallı's daughter Belma), People sitting in the courtyard.

His works today
At the auction held in Istanbul on December 14, 2014, Çallı's work, Those Sitting in the Courtyard, dated 1913, was sold for 2 million 460 thousand liras. This work became the highest selling Çallı painting to date.

Start typing to see posts you are looking for.