Şevket Dağ

Who is Şevket Dağ?

He completed his primary education at Hacı Ferhat School and his secondary education at Dar-ül Muallimin. He graduated from Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi Alisi in 1897 as a student of Osman Hamdi Bey and Alexandre Vallaury.

After working as a civil servant at Foundations for a while, he started teaching art at Mahmudiye Junior High School, which started in 1902 and lasted for twenty-three years. He worked at Galata, Nişantaşı, Aksaray, Feriköy, Koca Reşit Paşa and Kadıköy Numune Schools, as well as Vefa High School, Nişantaşı High School and Galatasaray High School, respectively. He became the teacher of painter Fikret Mualla at Galatasaray High School.

Fikret Mualla in his memoirs: “He had a wrestler’s build, was elegant, had big eyes and a thick moustache. When he entered our first lesson, he took out three pencils and a pocket knife from his pocket. He showed us how to sharpen a pencil as his first lesson. Şevket Bey was an educator who started from the alphabet of every subject.” he mentions.

While he was an art teacher at Dar-ül Muallimin (Istanbul Teacher Training School), he also became the teacher of Malik Aksel, who would later talk about him in his books.

He was among the founders of the Ottoman Painters Society, which was established in 1909 with the artists of the period who chose Mehmet Ruhi Arel's house in Şehzadebaşı as the venue.
In 1919, he founded the Turkish Painters Society with his friends İbrahim Çallı and Hikmet Onat. The following decisions were taken at the first meeting of the Society on 11 March 1920:
Minutes of the First Meeting of the Turkish Painters Society. Şevket Dağ's "Pallet" Signature
1. Writing a letter to the Crown Prince (future sultan) Abdulmecit Efendi informing him of the establishment of the Society,
2. Providing information to colleagues who are known for their works,
3. Şevket Dağ, one of the founding members, was elected as the general secretary.
4. Printing envelopes and papers with labels specific to the society.
Şevket Dağ is the first artist to comprehensively work on the "Interior" painting genre.[2] Although Şevket Dağ, who participated in the "Galatasaray Exhibitions" held every year since 1916 and the first "State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition" in 1939 and was engaged in the "Interior" painting genre, reacted to the "Modernization" movement after the Republic, After the 1920s, he changed towards an "impressionist" palette and was among the artists of the 14 Generation (Çallı Generation) Feyhaman Duran, Hikmet Onat, İbrahim Çallı and Sami Yetik.

The artist's paintings, which were subject to criticism from time to time, received the sharpest criticism from Eşref Üren, one of the young generation painters of the period, who defended the concept of "Modern Painting" after the republic: "Şevket Dağ has long been known as a domestic painter in Turkey. However, the French have failed in this field." "How far Bonnard is from Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940). The interiors are stuffy and the figures inside are makeshift." Regarding this criticism, Malik Aksel, who was a student of Şevket Dağ at Darülmuallimin, says in his book "Art Life" that "It is a reflection of the generation conflict".
The artist, who was also a member of parliament for Konya in the 5th term and Siirt in the 6th and 7th terms, died in Istanbul on May 23, 1944.

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