Pera Museum presents an exhibition of French artist Félix Ziem, one of the most original landscape painters of the 19thcentury. 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 artworks. This week we are sharing Ziem’s work on Venice.
Ziem’s name can never be thought separately from Venice. From his first stay in the City of Canals until his death in 1911, Venice always made Ziem’s heartbeat. The city inspired his most beautiful paintings and even offered him some amorous conquests such as Lina, his mistress. Year after year, Ziem kept returning to the city, capturing the seductive vibrato of the iridescent lights of the Serenissima. Views of Piazza San Marco, Punta della Dogana, Santa Maria della Salute Basilica… misty and vibrant images, spontaneous and colorful sketches aroused a burning desire to escape in the minds of his contemporaries. In his diary, Ziem describes his first impressions upon seeing the city as follows:
“Dawn was just breaking when we arrived at customs. From there, I saw on the horizon this vast ship of Venice appear. We continued to move calmly and without noise; only the echo from the bridges responded to the cries of our gondoliers. Venice! The Grand Canal, a flooded, deserted street; the sun rose and painted the top of the bells a golden color. We landed at the Piazzetta; a true fairytale setting transformed into reality, real nature, and reflections of a special kind in the water. [...] I was bursting with pleasure.”
His sketchbook under his harm, Ziem continued to roam the lagoon city, its streets, canals, and the Grand Canal he depicted from all angles. He did not hesitate to rent boats he transformed into studios to choose the most picturesque vantage points offering the most beautiful light effects. Many of his paintings demonstrate Ziem’s passion for Venice.
Ziem constantly set forth an ideal moment of luminous light in which the weather was always nice and hot. Like an aura, this light lit up his life and illuminated his oeuvre.
“Félix Ziem: Wanderer on the Sea of Light” exhibition can be visited between 10 November 2016 and 29 January 2017!