Journal of Literature and Humanities
Research Articles

Architecture and Mimesis in Hüseyin Zekai Pasha’s Paintings


Department of Art History, Atatürk University, Faculty of Letters, Erzurum, Turkey

Journal of Literature and Humanities 2022; 1: 86-95
DOI: 10.5152/AUJFL.2022.923891
Read: 1038 Downloads: 203 Published: 21 June 2022

Hüseyin Zekâi Pasha is a prominent representative of Ottoman art in the Ottoman cultural world, which was opening to innovations of the Westernization period. The artist generally used photographs for producing his paintings, and had the knowledge and skills to transfer the ‘reality’ identically onto a canvas thanks to his modern training. This realism initially evokes imitation, that is, mimesis, in philosophical terms. However, the artist describes painting as an inscribed language that everyone can understand, and regards this art as the benchmark of civilization. From this aspect, his Works exhibit a deep semantic integrity beyond a shallow sense of imitation. Paintings of Hüseyin Zekâi Pasha can be accepted as an ‘archive’ of thetexture of the Ottoman city as the intensively feature architecture. In his works, structures of various architectural typologies stand out as a symbol and source of the nation he was born into. From this aspect, his compositions should be evaluated with in the framework of knowledge on the identity of the period. Considering the fact that the architecture of the artist’s works holds mirror to the reality, his works are categorized as mimesis. This paper, however, concentrates on the intellectual depth of the artist and archival properties of the works, which allow them to transcendmere ‘imitation’.

Cite this article: Geyik, G., & Karyağ, B. (2022). Architecture and Mimesis in Hüseyin Zekai Pasha’s Paintings. Journal of Literature and Humanities, 68, 86-95.

EISSN 2822-4779