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Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu

He is a Turkish painter, writer and poet who lived between 1911 - 1975.
After studying painting, which he started at the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts and continued in Paris, he returned home and taught at the Academy of Fine Arts throughout his life. The artist, who produces works in many forms such as hand-printing, engraving, ceramics, sculpture, stained glass, mosaic, calligraphy, serigraphy and lithography, used the motifs he chose in traditional ornaments and folk crafts in his works, combining them with the techniques of the West. In his poems, he was fed from the public source. Making use of fairy tales, myths and folk songs, he reflected his passion for nature, love of people, joy of life and social problems.
He is the son of the deputy Mehmet Rahmi Eyüboğlu, the writer and translator Sabahattin Eyüboğlu and the brother of one of the first female architects Mualla Eyüboğlu, the wife of the painter Eren Eyüboğlu.
He was born in Görele, Giresun, where his father was serving as a district governor in 1911. He was the second of five children of Mehmet Rahmi Bey and Lütfiye Hanım. His father was from the Maçkalı Eyüboğlu family. While his real name was Ali Bedrettin, Ali was forgotten in time and his name changed to Bedir and then to Bedri. He spent his childhood in different parts of Anatolia. After being in Havza, Kütahya, Ankara, Artvin, his father's Parliament II. His family settled in Trabzon in 1925 after he was elected as Trabzon deputy. He studied at Trabzon High School. The famous painter Zeki Kocamemi, who was appointed as an art teacher to his school in 1927 and served for seven months, discovered his talent and aroused his interest in painting. The picture books sent by his elder brother Sabahattin, who went to France on a scholarship, ensured the continuation of his interest. Bedri Rahmi, who is also interested in literature, wrote his first poems when he was in high school.

Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu Style

In 1929, he entered the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy. He became a student of Nazmi Ziya Güran and İbrahim Çallı. Continuing her interest in literature, she took aesthetic and mythology lessons from Ahmet Haşim. In 1931, without receiving his diploma, he went to France with his older brother, who shared his scholarship with him. He worked to improve his French in Dijon and Lyon. In the meantime, he copied the paintings of the masters he liked, such as Gauguin and El Greco, from the museums they were in. Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne became the masters who connected him to his profession. In 1932, he worked at the André Lhote Workshop in Paris for about a month; She met Ernestine Letoni, with whom she would later join her life. He studied the paintings, Turkish rugs and miniatures of Matisse, Brague and Chagal. The paintings of Yavuzlu and Gülcemali, which he made in 1933, made a splash; that year he went to London; He returned to Turkey at the end of the year.
Bedri Rahmi started working as a painter in the Yeni Adam magazine in 1934, after he returned home. In the same period, his poems began to be published in literary journals. Bedri Rahmi, who came third in the Academy diploma competition with his painting on "Road Construction", was not satisfied with this result and did not want to graduate to prepare for the competition again. He participated in the D Group Exhibition with 30 paintings on 27 December 1934. He sent some of his paintings to Romania to be exhibited together with Ernestine's paintings. Thus, his first personal exhibition was opened on January 1, 1935 at the Hasefler Gallery in Bucharest, without his own participation. He rediscovered the landscapes of his childhood in Çerkeş, where he went temporarily to work as a translator for a company. After returning from Çerkeş, he intensified the articles he started to write in the Tan newspaper. He married Ernestine Letoni, who now settled in Istanbul and took the name "Eren", on April 16, 1936. He got a job at the General Directorate of Tekel. He started working as a showcase organizer and designed the "Running Spear Horses" figure on the cover of the Sipahi Ocağı cigarette.

In 1936, he received his diploma in the diploma competition of the Academy of Fine Arts with his work "Hamam".
He participated with three paintings in the Turkish Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, which was taken to the Soviet Union and was the first overseas exhibition of the Republican era.
In 1937, Bedri Rahmi was one of the few young painters chosen as an assistant by the French painter Leopold Levy, who was the head of the Painting Department of the Fine Arts Academy, thus his academic career that would last for many years began. Academy President Burhan Toprak had books prepared about Turkish painters in those years. Bedri Rahmi prepared a review book on his former teacher Nazmi Ziya Güran and turned it into a book.
Bedri Rahmi went to Edirne in September 1938 as part of the CHP Country Trip program. He adopted this travel program, which was one of the most important artistic breakthroughs of the period. He drew nature pictures without human figures in Edirne and painted local motifs. He was among the writers of Ses magazine, which was published on 1 November 1938. He published his pictures, drawings and essays in this magazine. In 1939, he shared the third place with Arif Kaptan with his work “Figure” in the First State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition. On November 9, 1939, he was taken to the reserve officer school to do his military service. In the same year, his son Mehmet Hamdi Eyüboğlu was born.

Other Art Works

After completing his military service in 1941, his first poetry book "Letters to the Creator" was published. He successfully used the motifs he chose from traditional folk arts, and in his poems he reflected his admiration for folk literature such as fairy tales and sayings.
Bedri Rahmi, who turned to wall paintings after the 1940s, adopted the idea that the beautiful can be useful and the useful can be beautiful, after examining the art of primitive tribes at the Human Museum in Paris, and reflected this view in his works. In 1942, he participated in the CHP's domestic trips program for the second time and went to Çorum and then to İskilip, staying in İskilip for two weeks. This Iskilip trip affected and changed his understanding of painting. In his paintings, he started to deal with the themes of those who dance the halay, inn courtyards, women breastfeeding children, lovers playing saz. He won the second prize at the Fourth State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition on 31 October 1942.
The artist, who turned to wall paintings over time, made his first murals for Ortaköy Lido Swimming Pool in 1943. He believed that the use of architecture and other works of fine arts would produce good results, and that architect-artist collaboration was necessary, and he defended this throughout his life. Between 1945-1947, he created important portrait series such as “Portrait of Mari”, “Alice I”, “Alice II”. He painted his portraits on paper and sometimes on wood. In 1946, he made the second mural on the doors at the entrance of the Ankara Grand Theater (opera) (a fresco with the theme of “Kidnapping”). His paintings, which were sent to the international exhibition organized by UNESCO in Paris in November 1946, attracted attention. Bedri Rahmi has attached great importance to his teaching duties since he started his academic career as an assistant and believed in the importance of the master-apprentice relationship. With this in mind, he pioneered the establishment of the “10'lar Group”, which consists of young artists, in 1947. The number of members of the group exceeded thirty in one year. Despite the suggestions that Bedri Rahmi should devote himself entirely to painting, he never stopped writing poetry and in August 1948, his second poetry book "Karadut" was published.
Bedri Rahmi had the opportunity to continue his studies abroad by going to the USA with his wife for two years with the Rockefeller Scholarship he received in 1961. Here he turned to abstract forms with rich colors. He was a visiting professor for two years at the University of California, Berkeley. In August 1961, the motif “Anatolian Village Woman Carrying Her Children on a Donkey” was printed as a postcard in the United States for the benefit of Unicef ​​children. In December 1962, the New York Museum of Modern Arts bought his painting “The Chain”. His poem, “Zindanı Taştan Oyarlar”, which he wrote for his friend Nâzım Hikmet, who went on hunger strike in Bursa Prison, became a cult following when some of it was composed by Zülfü Livaneli.

Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu Famous Works

Paris 1930, Mustafa Eyüboğlu 1933, Written Still Life 1936, Tuesday Pazar 1938, Eren 1940, Hinging Ox 1947, Thinking Man 1953, Peasant Woman (Train-Sleeping Wagon), Black Mulberry Seller 1954, Squatting Villager 1972, Ankara Poplars 1973, Purple Takkeli Hacı 1974, Son Kahve 1975, Anadoluhisarı, Naked, Indoor, Inn 1975.

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