Life N' History
Osman Hamdi Bey

Osman Hamdi Bey


Osman Hamdi Bey, Museum Manager, Academician, Archaeologist, Painter and an Intellectual

Life N' History .    /    2019
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Osman Hamdi Bey

Although Osman Hamdi Bey is known as the First Turkish Archaeologist and the Beginning of the Ottoman Archaeologist, there are also opinions about him abusing his duty and allowing certain works to go abroad. But our job is not politics, so we leave that part to our readers' decision.


Osman Hamdi Bey (1842 - 1910), who was accepted as the first Turkish archaeologist and museum curator, is also the first mayor of Kadikoy.

Osman Hamdi Bey, the son of Edhem Pasha, who rose to the rank of Grand Vizier in the Ottoman Empire, was one of the first four students sent by the Ottoman Empire to study abroad.

Osman Hamdi Bey, a multifaceted man, was a museum manager, academician, archaeologist, painter and an intellectual.

Osman Hamdi Bey, who went to Paris to study law in 1860, stayed here for 12 years besides learning law, he was also apprenticed with famous painters of the period (Jean Leon - Gerome and Boulanger) and studied painting well.

Şeker Ahmet Pasha, who came to Paris for painting education, together with Süleyman Seyyid, formed the first generation of Turkish painting art and as the first painter to use figurative composition in Turkish painting.

He has never left the art of painting beside all these archaeological works and state duties.

The most famous and well-known works today are the Turtle Tracer (1906) and the Weapon Trader (1908). Osman Hamdi Bey's paintings, many of which are more official, are exhibited at Istanbul Painting and Art Museum, London Liverpool and Boston Museum.


If we continue with archeology;

In 1869, he was appointed to the Foreign Affairs Department of Baghdad. He was interested in Baghdad History and Archeology here.

II. Abdülhamit gave him the task of establishing Turkey 's first School of Fine Arts. After the construction of the building and the preparation of the academic board, on March 2, 1883, the school named Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University was opened.
As Director of the Imperial Museum ( Muze-i Humayun ) , he has put in force by-laws that prevent the abduction of old works abroad ( 1884 - Asar- ı Atika Nizamnamesi ). With this new arrangement, the abduction of ancient artifacts have prevented from the Ottoman territories to western countries.

Osman Hamdi Bey, who started the first scientific excavation during the museum administration, directed the excavations at Nemrut Mountain ( 1882 ), Lagina ( 1891- 1892 ) and Sayda ( 1887 – 1888 ).

In 1887 - 1888 the Count of King Cemetery in Lebanon was excavated. In these excavations, he found the famous Alexander Sarcophagus. Apart from this sarcophagus, other sarcophagi belonging to the kings of Phenicia were found.


These sarcophagi were asked to be exhibited in the Istanbul Tiled Kiosk but when the sarcophagi that are larger than the door cannot be inserted a new museum was built in the classical style according to the plans of Alexandre Vallaury, one of the famous architects of his time, just across the Kiosk. Thanks to the sarcophagi exhibited here today, the Istanbul Archeology Museum has made its name among the world 's leading museums.

The Hagia Irini and the Chinese Pavilion were used for the exhibition of the works excavated during the period.

But as the number of works increased, the problem of space started and convinced the managers of the period and made built the Istanbul Archeology Museum building.

Osman Hamdi Bey has been the director of the Istanbul Archeology Museum for 29 years and has added the museum to some of the world 's best museums.

Osman Hamdi Bey, who died on 24 February 1910 in Kuruçeşme mansion, was buried on the hill behind his mansion in Eskihisar upon his will.

Imported Paintings

From Harem ( 1880 )
Two Musician Girls ( 1880 )
Girl Reciting The Qur’an ( 1880 )
Girl Who Fits The Vase ( 1881 )
Woman In Front Of Mosque ( 1882 )
The Carpet Merchant ( 1888 )
Two Young Girls Visiting a Shrine ( 1890 )
Mihrab ( 1901 )
Girl With Pink Cap ( 1904 )
Tortoise Trainer ( 1906 )
Weapon Trader ( 1908 )
Lady Naile ( 1910 )
Scrivener ( 1910 )

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