Le Midi
A Sea of Light



Pera Museum presents an exhibition of French artist Félix Ziem, one of the most original landscape painters of the 19th century. The exhibition Wanderer on the Sea of Light presents Ziem as an artist who left his mark on 19th century painting and who is mostly known for his paintings of Istanbul and Venice, where the city and the sea are intertwined. Through the exhibition, we will be sharing detailed information about the artist and the artworks. 

At twenty, Ziem quit his architectural studies in Dijon and set out to discover the South of France by traveling from the Rhône Valley to Arles and arrives in Martigues, where he eventually settled after 1841. It was there that his found his calling to be a painted and the Port of Marseille provided him a taste for travel and exoticism.

In 1861, Ziem established a studio in Martigues, which was a small fishing village at the time. There, he found the essential elements of his creativity: light and water. This combination of elements, this meeting of land, air, and sea lent his landscapes that unique atmosphere.


In the garden of his studio in Martigues, Ziem built a domed mosque with minarets topped with crescents, emulating the models he discovered in Istanbul. He transformed his house into a motif and brought the Orient to his feet.

This Oriental atmosphere, this Mediterranean sea of light was coupled with the memories of East, the magic of which Ziem reflected on his canvasses. “Here,” he wrote, “we already breathe the overheated air that intoxicates us with the mysterious scents of the Orient.” His flexible and skillful hand put on the canvas the most beautiful pieces of landscape, where the sky is clear and the water is azure.

“Félix Ziem: Wanderer on the Sea of Light” exhibition can be visited between 10 November 2016 and 29 January 2017!

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