'Man Smoking Shisha in Istanbul' by Yves Brayer (1933)
Fine Art •
'Man Smoking Shisha in Istanbul', watercolour on art paper, by Yves Brayer (1933). So many historic elements grace this stunning depiction by celebrated French artist and world traveler, Yves Brayer. The artist has splendidly captured the serenity of this place and time. Delightfully, it is transmitted to the viewer and, by extension, to the room in which the artwork hangs. In the foreground of the work, an Istanbulite in uniform on his break smokes a Turkish water pipe, or 'nargile', also known elsewhere as a hookah, hubble-bubble or shisha. In the background is the famous Eyüp mosque which overlooks the Golden Horn, the major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. This estuarial inlet geographically separates the historic centre of Istanbul from the rest of the city, and forms a horn-shaped sheltered harbour that in the course of history, has protected Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other maritime trade ships for thousands of years. A mosque complex was built on the site in 1458 but was rebuilt in the 18th century. It is named after Eyüp Sultan, a companion and trusted friend of Muhammad. The work is in good overall condition having been cleaned by an art restoration professional. It is in its original frame with new anti-reflective glass and new mounting. The artist signed the work in the lower right hand placing its location in French, 'Eyoup'.
About the Artist: Yves Brayer (1907-1990) was born in Versailles, France. Determined to be an artist from an early age, he set out for Paris in 1924, initially studying at the academies in Montparnasse, and from there he attended the École des Beaux-Arts. Whilst still a student he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, and in 1927 Brayer left Paris for Spain with the aid of a state grant to enable him to study the works of the Spanish Masters in the Prado.
On his return to Paris in 1934 he exhibited a collection of paintings inspired by his travels in Europe and Morocco to great acclaim. Having moved south to Cordes in the Tarn region of France after the War, Brayer then discovered the area which was to have the greatest artistic influence on his work: Provence. He was enchanted by the diverse and architectural forms of the Alpilles mountains, and by the vast expanse of the Camargue region with its ubiquitous white horses and black bulls. From then on he spent several months each year working in Provence. He also made several trips to Mexico, Egypt, Iran, Greece, Russia, Turkey, USA and Japan where he was quick to grasp the unique rhythm and light of each country.
A large collection of Yves Brayer’s paintings are on permanent display both at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Cordes, in the Salle Yves Brayer and at the Musée Yves Brayer in Les Baux de Provence, as well as various museums in France and elsewhere. Yves Brayer died in 1990.
Dimensions with frame:
H 77 cm / 30.3"
W 99 cm / 39"
Dimensions without frame:
H 48 cm / 18.9"
W 71 cm / 28"