The Benaki Museum is organizing the exhibition THOMAS HOPE: Drawings of Ottoman Istanbul which will open on Wednesday 23th March 2016 at 20:00 (duration until September 25th) and is kindly supported by the Culture and Tourism Office of the Turkish Embassy in Athens.
Thomas Hope (1769-1831), a scion of a wealthy banking family, went on a Grand Tour, the traditional trip to Greece and Turkey for the young men of his class, during the last quarter of the 18th century. Virtuoso, with unique collections of antiquities, sculptures and European paintings, a generous sponsor and an expert in the fields of architecture and decoration overturned the artistic settings of his time, leaving his mark on the period of the Regency. He created the “Hope style” which he spread through a series of illustrated manuals with designs for functional and decorative items, as well as a repertoire of costumes.
An extremely gifted designer, Thomas Hope meticulously painted a variety of themes from the places he visited during his Grand Tour. He sorted and held these designs tied in five volumes which he kept in his personal library. After his death, these volumes were sold by his inheritors and all traces were lost. In 1984, by a fortunate discovery, all five volumes of drawings were found in the Library of the Benaki Museum. Antonis Benakis had bought them in 1930. It is a unique finding as the 350 works constitute a treasure of information on the places it illustrates.
A small number of these concerns Egypt, a larger set depict views from Greece, while the largest part is dedicated to the various regions of Turkey, mainly Istanbul.
The exhibition presents 60 drawings from Istanbul.