"ON THE BANKS OF THE BOSPHORUS"
oil on panel, 18 x 30 1⁄4 inches,
signed lower left "Ziem"
Rey Sale Galerie Georges Petit; Burton S. Castles,
Parke-Bernet, New York, December 14-15, 1934, lot 301;
The estate of Antoinette Goetz, Greenwich, Connecticut;
Sotheby's, May 1, 2001, lot 10;
Private Collection, Connecticut.
Anne Burdin-Hellebranth, "F. Ziem," Paris 1998,
Vol. ii, 9.254, no. 1576;
Pierre Miguel, "F. Ziem, Maurs - La - Jolie 1978 ,"
Vol. II, p. 125, no. 726 (illus.).
Felix Ziem was born in 1821, in Beaune, France. He is mostly known for his paintings of Istanbul and Venice, where he captures the seas and cities around them with sunlight and reflection.
Ziem’s works were first exhibited in 1849 at the Paris Salon, and Ziem remained a regular exhibitor there for many years.1 He was also the first artist whose works were acquired by the Louvre while he was still alive.
Ziem was an avid traveler in search of picturesque subjects to paint, preferring areas with extraordinary atmospheric traits. He owned homes in Venice, the Martigues, Nice and Paris. In 1844 he travelled to Greece, Turkey and Russia, and would later travel through Belgium, Holland, Egypt, Hungary and Algeria.
The current lot is a depiction of a sunny afternoon on the banks of the Bosphorus. It portrays people gathered under a tree with a panoramic view of the historically known city of Istanbul in the background. As part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Bosphorus as a waterway has been of great historical importance both to commerce and the military. It remains strategically important today.