Rahmi Pehlivanlı

Who is Rahmi Pehlivanlı? (1926-1992)

Known as the ‘Painter of Kings’, Pehlivanlı has opened many national and international exhibitions. Some of the artist’s award-winning works are exhibited in seventeen different museums in Europe, the Middle East and Türkiye. He was given many certificates of appreciation and decorations.
He was born in 1926 in Keskin-Kırıkkale, which was added to the borders of Kırıkkale today, as the children of Gülşen Hanım and Hacı Ömer Efendi. He completed primary school in Keskin and secondary school in Kırıkkale Military Secondary School in 1932.
After his military service in the Ankara Cavalry Regiment between 1941 and 1944, he settled in Ankara. He earned his living by doing business in both Ankara and Kırıkkale between 1940 and 1950.
While he was teaching at Bahçelievler Secondary School in Ankara, he also painted portraits of famous administrators of the period. The portrait of Nene Hatun, the hero of Aziziye, which he painted during this period, was taken to the Harbiye Military Museum in 1952 upon the invitation of the Ministry of National Defense.
Pehlivanlı, who also served in the Ankara Police Department for a short time, was assigned by the then President Celâl Bayar and sent to Thessaloniki in 1953 to paint the house where Atatürk was born. The work titled “The house where Atatürk was born” is in the Prime Ministry collection.
The first time the painter went abroad was on a trip to Thessaloniki, and his second trip abroad was to England in order to have his hand disease treated and to continue his painting life professionally. He quickly adapted here and conducted painting studies in museums and studios in many European countries. Between 1953 and 1990, more than twenty-five kings, queens and statesmen invited the wrestler to their countries to draw their portraits.

From time to time, he went to Middle Eastern countries such as Cyprus, Lebanon, Iraq and Libya, where he opened exhibitions and painted portraits. Adultery, one of his most famous paintings, was highly appreciated by the Vatican in 1967 and was presented to Pope Paul IV of the time. He was awarded a medal by Paul. This painting was taken to the Dal Vaticano Florence Museum in Rome by the Vatican.
During this period, he took advantage of the fame he achieved in Italy and continued his work by establishing a studio in Castel Franco. He won the first prize in the portrait category with his another famous painting, Bald Mıstık, at the international art exhibition held in Cote D'Azure.
In 1972, after 17 years, he returned to Turkey. When he heard that the Battleship Yavuz, one of the ships of the Turkish War of Independence, would be sold and made into a razor, he immediately made a painting of it. This painting is still exhibited in the Istanbul Naval Museum.
In 1978, Pan News Agency selected him as the man of the year for his achievements in the international art world and for creating his own school. In the same year, he prepared a series depicting Atatürk with statesmen who came to visit the country.
This series was exhibited in Anıtkabir. In 1981, he was given the Academico Benemerito diploma and the title of honorary professor by the Accademia Universale Rome in Italy, and a permanent chair was reserved in his name. A year later, the 30th Year of Art exhibition, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary in art, was opened by the then President Kenan Evren and Prime Minister Bülent Uluslu in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Immediately after the exhibition, he went on a long trip to Türkiye for his Renk Renk Türkiyem collection.

He married a woman named Nurhan in 1984. In 1988, he was invited by the Academy of Fine Arts of the USSR Ministry of Culture to give lectures and conduct research at universities.
In the same year, Pope John II with the Ephesus painting. He was awarded a silver medal by Jean Paul. He started teaching at Gazi University Painting Department in 1989 and continued until his death on August 24, 1992. Commemoration events are held in Keskin District every year to commemorate the famous painter in Kırıkkale. When he died, he could only complete his Renk Renk My Turkey collection. In his sixty-five years of life, he opened more than sixty personal exhibitions, five of which were in Turkey. Most of these exhibitions were opened by heads of state and prominent statesmen.

1952: Group Exhibition, Ankara
1955: At the Faculty of Letters Auditorium, Ankara
1956: UNESCO, Beirut
1956: Damascus State Museum, Syria
1956: Baghdad Academy of Arts, Iraq
1956: Badgodesberg Press Embassy, ​​Germany
1957: London Turkish-Anglo Saxon Club, British Royal Academy, London
1958: Joiny Exhibition
1959: Ledra Palace, Fine Arts society-Nicosia, Cyprus
1960: Ledra Palace, Nicosia, Cyprus
1960: Hampa Street, Turkish Embassy, ​​Beirut
1961: Hotel St George-Beirut-Lebanon
1961: Gallery Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon
1961: Hotel Vaddan, Tripoli, Libya
1962: at the City Gallery of the Municipality, Tunisia
1963: Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway
1963: Berlin Hilton, Germany
1963: Cosmopolitan Club, Hamburg, Germany
1963: Uryon Gato 9-Helsinki, Finland
1963: Rotterdam Hilton, Netherlands Painters
1964: Association, Lagos, Nigeria
1964: Hotel Stanley Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
1965: State Gallery, Accra, Ghana
1966: State Library, Lusaka, Zambia
1966: Edinburgh Hotel, Kitway, Zambia
1967: Town Hall, Asmara, Ethiopia
1967: Town Hall Hall of Fame, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
1968: Grand Hotel, Khartoum, Sudan
1969: Reproduction Exhibition, Benghazi, Libya
1969: Hotel Hilton, Malta
1969: Turkish Embassy, ​​Rome, Italy
1969: Milan Art Gallery, Italy
1970: State Gallery, Algeria
1970: Galerie Decoeuverte, Morocco
1970: Molla Abdullah Palace, Rabat, Morocco
1970: Sheraton Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
1971: Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal
1974: University Gallery, Dallas, USA
1974: Groyden Municipal Gallery, Houston, USA
1975: State Painting and Sculpture Gallery, Atatürk Collection, Ankara Exhibition
1976: State Gallery, Tehran, Iran
1977: RCD-Ministry of Culture, Tehran, Iran
1977: Rawalpindi Liaquat Memorial Hall, Lahore, Pakistan
1977: Pakistan 1977 Islamabad, Pakistan Culture
1977: Kabul Nenderay Palace, Kabul, Afghanistan
1977: Madden Galleries, London, England
1978: Intercontinental Hotel Opera Hall, Istanbul
1978: Press Association, Brussels, Belgium Cairo-Egypt
1981: State Museum
1981: State Museum of Painting and Sculpture, 30th Art Year Exhibition
1982: Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
1982: State Painting and Sculpture Museum-Izmir
1988: Athens City Hall, Greece
1991: Posthumous Foundation exhibition at Türkiye Halk Bankası Art Gallery, Ankara;
1993: Anatolian Civilizations Museum, Ankara
1993: Retrospective Exhibition of Rahmi Pehlivanlı, State Painting and Sculpture Museum, Ankara
1995: State Painting and Sculpture Museum, Türkiye Collection Exhibition
1996: Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum Gallery, Bodrum Works of Rahmi Pehlivanlı
Works exhibited in museums
Ankara, Presidential Palace (Atatürk House, Atatürk Portraits)
Ankara, Turkish Grand National Assembly Collection (Ataturk, Historical compositions)
Ankara, National Library (Maraş Ironmonger Market)
Ankara State Painting and Sculpture Museum (Aşık Veysel)
Ankara Faculty of Letters (1893 War, Kunuri War, Atatürk)
Ankara Language and History Institution (Atatürk)
Istanbul, Harbiye Military Museum (Nene Hatun)
Istanbul Naval Museum (Battleship Yavuz)
Istanbul, Topkapi Palace Museum (Murat IV)
Istanbul, City Hall (Portrait of Fatih)
Italy, Florence Museum (Zina-Tunisia Belly Dancer)
Netherlands, Boog Wilhestadt National Museum (Mirror-Cyprus Folk Poet)
Zambia, National Museum (Christmas Flowers)
National Museum of Egypt (Ataturk)
USA, Texas, Houston Gallery (Little Bird)
USA, New York, Divicon Ltd Gallery (Sandstorm, Great Desert)
USA, Los Angeles, Richard Gatti Collection (Street Dancer-Morocco, Bon Viveur)

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