SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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THALASSO, Adolphe.
F. Zonaro.
Déri Sé'adet, ou Stamboul Porte Du Bonheur : Scènes De La Vie Turque

Paris: H. Piazza & Cie, 1908.
Paris: H. Piazza & Cie, 1908.

8 vo., 217 pp, FRENCH TEXT, lithographed gilt half title, frontispiece, 49 COLOURED PLATES BY THE ITALIAN FAUSTO ZONARO of which 26 full-page, text and illustrations within decorative borders, numbered and limited printing of 268 examples, this is number 268, soft illustrated and gilt decorated covers as published, in red leather slip case, partially unhinged spine, Beautiful copy with very bright colours, Index, LIMITED & NUMBERED EDITION. Few cities have been served so faithfully by an artist as Istanbul was served, in its twilight years as a great imperial capital, by Fausto Zonaro. Between his arrival in 1891, as a thirty-seven-year-old artist from the Veneto, to his departure in 1910 as the acclaimed former Painter to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, Zonaro painted some 1,300 pictures of the city. Few aspects of Istanbul eluded his energetic brush. He painted dervishes, beggars, street barbers, public scribes, firemen and fishermen. His landscapes included views of Üsküdar, Kumkapi, Besiktas and many other districts of the city, and he also depicted scenes from the great religious festivals of Bayram and Muharram. Some of the pictures have a bland journalistic quality - and were indeed reproduced in the Figaro Illustré. As befits the painter of a maritime city, however, Zonaro excelled at seascapes. Masts and minarets, smoke and mist, sails and clouds, light and water blend into some of the most evocative of all representations of Istanbul. Zonaro’s appeal is enhanced by his role as painter of the court as well as of the city. In 1896, he painted the crack Ertu€rul cavalry regiment, fascinated by their grandeur as they crossed the Galata bridge on their white horses. This image of power and modernity (most of the crowd on the bridge are shown wearing European clothes) was drawn to the Sultan’s attention by two of Zonaro’s patrons, the Russian and Italian ambassadors. Later the same year he was appointed painter to the sultan, with a salary and a spacious house in Akaratler, a new street of terraced houses behind Dolmabahçe Palace. Soon he was giving lessons to princes in a studio in the grounds of Yildiz Palace and instructing the artists of the Imperial Porcelain Factory. Zonaro learnt Turkish, wore the fez and attended the Selamlek. He was one of the last of that illustrious band of court painters which included Titian, Rubens and David. As a court artist, Zonaro began to paint large official canvases of Ottoman victories, past and present, of pashas, princes and even some of the Sultan’s daughters. Some of his most successful paintings record the visit of the German Emperor and Empress Wilhelm II and Augusta Victoria to Yildiz and Dolmabahçe in 1898. The popularity of Zonaro in Yildiz confirms the durability of the Ottoman dynasty’s love affair with Western painting, which had begun with Gentile Bellini’s visit to Istanbul in 1479: indeed, one of Zonaro’s commissions was to copy Bellini’s 1480 portrait of Mehmed the Conqueror. Coloured plates in order: 1. Frontis. 2. Title page. 3. [Turkish Lady and servant by the Bosphorus]. 4. 'La Vie et la Ville'. 5. Illustrated page of text. 6. [Turkish woman walking in the sunshine]. 7. [[Istanbul at sunrise]. 8. [Man at Prayer]. 9. [Man playing a flute like instrument]. 10. [Men and Children going to Prayer]. 11. [Fishing boats at anchor on the Bosphorus]. 12. [Fishermen on the shore of the Bosphorus]. 13. [Fishermen men hauling in their fishing nets in the Bosphorus]. 14. [Busy street scene in Istanbul]. 15. [Men being shaved in an open air market]. 16. [Night scene]. 17. [Portrait of a man]. 18. [The Touloumbadjis]. 19. [Street scene]. 20. [Public Letter-writers]. 21. [Portrait of a woman]. 22. [Bairam festival]. 23. [Men at the festival]. 24. [View at the water's edge along the Bosphorus]. 25. Title page. 'La Femme'. 26. Page of text with decorative borders. 27. [Boatman ferrying women across the river]. 28. [Portrait of a pretty young woman]. 29. [Marriage party about to board a boat on Bosphorus]. 30. [Animals crossing a river]. 31. [Women entering a house]. 32. [Women at a steam house]. 33. [A pair of Gypsy girls]. 34. [As above]. 35. [Portrait of a woman]. 36. [Tower of Leandre at the entrance to the Bosphorus]. 37. [Ladies in various states of undress, after bathing]. 38. [Street scene]. 39. [The Spring Festival]. 40. [People relaxing in a field whilst a goat grazes in the foreground]. 41. Title page. 'L'Amour'. 42. Page of text with decorative borders. 43. [Woman strumming a Guitar]. 44. [Night scene in Scutari]. 45. [Carts and boats]. 46. [Family outside their home]. 47. [Souk scene]. 48. [Scenic view of Istanbul]. 49. [People in a Park]. 50. [Cemetery]. 51. [Portrait of a young woman]. 52. [Portrait of an older woman]. 53. [Man and woman conversing]. 54. [Women emerging from a Cemetery]. 55. [Assorted boating craft on the Bosphorus]. 56. [Portrait of a wealthy man, with Hookah pipe]. 57. [Small boats at a quay].