Simply About Difficult

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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Tortoise Trainer at Pera

This post is closely related to the previous one as pictures here belong to the same place and date. However, I have decided to write it separately as this painting is of a great importance for me. This post is dedicated to the painting "The Tortoise Trainer" (Kaplumbağa Terbiyecisi) painted by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1906 and 1907 (two versions). In 2004 it was sold for $3.5M. 

The painting depicts an elderly man in traditional Ottoman religious costume dating from before introduction of the fez and spread of western style dress in the latter part of the 19th century. He holds a traditional "nay" flute with which he is attempting to "train" the tortoises at his feet.The five turtles in this portrait symbolize a stubborn, resistant society. Unfortunately, the turtles have no ears to hear the ney and with a thick protective shell they are also not bothered by his prodding. Deep meaning...

It was my wish to see this painting for two years now and I finally saw it. So You probably feel my excitement even via this post. I must say that the painting itself is quite inspiring. If You ever wish to see it you can easily do it in Pera Museum in Beyoglu, Istanbul.

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