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Hoca Ali Rıza

Hodja Ali Rıza

Turkish painter who lived between 1858 – 1930. He was born in 1858 in the Ahmediye district of Üsküdar. His father was the Cavalry Major, Mehmet Rüştü Bey. He lost his father, an amateur calligrapher, at the age of seven. His father was a calligrapher who gave importance to writing. Hodja Ali Rıza, one of the military painters who graduated from the Military Academy, received his first painting education from the Palace Aide-de-camp Osman Nuri Pasha (1839-1906) and Süleyman Seyyid. The young painter, who graduated from Harbiye in 1884 as a lieutenant, entered this high school as an art teacher. Hodja Ali Rıza, a member of the Military Painter Generation, became the teacher of the 1914 Generation painters.
The painter, who was born in Üsküdar and lived in Üsküdar all his life; He painted the quiet corners, coastal cafes and sunny cliffs of Üsküdar and Karacaahmet; Hodja from Üsküdar was known as Ali Rıza. He is the first Turkish painter to come out of the palace gardens and paint on the countryside and beaches like an impressionist. He produced thousands of works with his proficiency in charcoal and watercolor technique and his fast pace of work. It is estimated that the number of his works is about five thousand paintings. The artist was the chairman of the Ottoman Painters Society between 1909-1912.
After studying at Üsküdar High School, he entered Kuleli Military High School (Kuleli Military High School) in 1880. While he was studying in high school, he and five or six of his friends who were interested in painting like him, gave a request to Edhem Pasha, the Minister of Military Schools of the time, and pioneered the opening of a painting studio in the school. Upon this application, he took painting lessons from Mehmet Nuri Pasha, who was appointed to the school. His works were completed by Sultan II. He was awarded with the Nişan-i Mecidi by Abdülhamid. Upon this encouragement, Rıza Bey and his friends also benefited from Miralay Süleyman Seyyid Bey, who spent his vacations painting and returned to Istanbul after studying painting in France, and a French painter named Mösye Gués, who was in Istanbul at that time.
He continued his education at the Mekteb-i Harbiye-i Şahane and became a student of Osman Nuri Pasha in this school. In 1884, he graduated from the Military Academy's Origin of Education program with the rank of Infantry Mülazım-ı Sani (Lieutenant) and was appointed as the assistant of his teacher Osman Nuri Pasha.

Hoca Ali Rıza's Style

Although it was decided to send him to Naples to study painting due to his success in his student years, this decision was abandoned due to the cholera epidemic that broke out in Naples. He developed his knowledge of patterns by drawing a glass, a shoe or a table, even while sitting. He prepared three model albums with thirty examples in order to assist painting lessons in military schools. These printed albums played a major role in spreading the art of painting to the secondary education institutions of that period. In addition to these works, he also prepared models for civil schools. These albums, each containing twenty-four pictures, were published in Istanbul.
In 1891, he joined a delegation that conducted research studies in the first capitals of the Ottoman Empire and recorded the views of Turkish-Islamic works in his notebooks.
In 1895, while he was at the rank of Kolağası, he made porcelain designs at the Yıldız Porcelain Factory. The artist, who met Fausto Zonaro in the same year, made painting works in Değirmendere in 1897.
In 1897, he worked on war-themed paintings depicting the Turkish-Greek war. In 1903, at the request of Mahmut Şevket Pasha, he participated in an album work covering Old Ottoman clothes. The artist, who was assigned to the commission formed for the establishment of the Turkish Esliha-i Atika Museum in 1903, worked for two years at the Harbiye Printing House, where he started as the Chief Painter in 1909. He served as the President of the Ottoman Painters' Society between 1909 and 1912.

While continuing; In 1909, he organized a painting exhibition at Üsküdar İskele Casino. As the publication organ of the society, he initiated the publication of a monthly magazine called the Ottoman Painters Society Newspaper. Hodja Ali Rıza, who taught in the Şehzadegan classes in 1910, requested his retirement from Harbiye in 1911 due to his deteriorating health condition and retired while he was at the rank of District Governor (Lieutenant Colonel).
After leaving Harbiye, she tried to make a living by teaching art in some schools. In 1914, he worked as a Landscape Instructor at İnas Industry-i Nefise School. In 1917, he was elected as a member of the Sanayi-i Nefise Committee, which was affiliated to the Ministry of Education. Painting Teaching at Çamlıca İnas Sultanisi' (Çamlıca Girls' High School), which he started in 1918, lasted for three years. In 1921, she worked as a painting teacher at Üsküdar Girls' Industry-i School, and in 1929 as a teacher at the Sultan Ahmet Male's Amelia Life School. He gave his most important works in Turkish painting to his retirement years. Hodja Ali Rıza, who never sold his paintings even though he was in financial difficulties, only gave his paintings as gifts to his loved ones.
The artist, who depicts a large number of Istanbul landscapes (approximately five thousand) with his proficiency in watercolor technique with charcoal and his fast pace of work, interprets the city's neighborhoods, the neighborhood life from Üsküdar to Bebek, from Arnavutköy to Burgazada, coffee houses and sea shores. He died on March 20, 1930 in Üsküdar. His tomb is in Karacaahmet.
His first exhibition was opened by his children three years after his death. Collective exhibitions were held in Ankara in 1958 and in Istanbul in 1960. Due to the gift of his works, his paintings are scattered in many collections. Among these, there are the most works in the Suleymaniye Library and the Ankara National Library, but there are also many works by Hoca Ali Rıza in the Yapı Kredi collection, Kemal Erhan, Erdoğan Demirören, İbrahim İter and the Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum collection. Paintings and sketches by his son Nâsır Çizer and selected works by his close friend Fuat Şemsi İnan were transferred to the Kemal Erhan collection. His student Süheyl Ünver donated many materials to the Süleymaniye Library by his student, Süheyl Ünver. A very comprehensive exhibition featuring the works of Hoca Ali Rıza was held in İzmir in 2014.

Hodja Ali Rıza Famous Paintings

Hoca Ali Rıza, who died at the age of 72, is behind; Landscape (1899), Çengelköy (1908), Maiden's Tower, Interior (1911), Mansions and Sailboats, Sümbüllü Mansion, Street Opening to the Sea and Simitçi, Istanbul (1919), A View of the Bosphorus from the Çubuklu Ridges and many more.

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