"Van Gogh Live", and Old Istanbul

This has been a cultural week for us. We first went to the "Van Gogh Alive" exhibition in the Antrepo 3 exhibition space in Karaköy, next to Istanbul Modern. This was an extraordinary experience. The paintings are displayed digitally on huge screens in a totally dark space. There are over three thousand images in all, shown in chronological order, accompanied by classical music.

There are also some wonderful effects. For example, in the painting of Van Gogh's room (above), the bare room appears first, followed by the placing of individual peices of furniture until the painting is complete. We also saw wheat ears blowing in the wind, and then the crows, in his famous painting of Wheatfield with Crows, suddenly flying away out of the painting.

The exhibition was really difficult to photograph, as the room was so dark, but there are some good photos on this site where the photographer was able to introduce light into the area.

Another exhibition we went to was the "Historic Photographs of the Anatolian Shore" at the Pera Museum. This gave a fascinating glimpse into old Istanbul, and how the city looked before the advent of the ugly concrete residential blocks that disfigure much of the city today. There were also descriptions of the original villages dotted along the shores of the Bosphorus, that were ultimately swallowed up into the great metropolis that is modern Istanbul.

We also had time to look at two other art exhibitions in the Pera Museum, "Sultans, Merchants, Painters: The Early Years of Turkish-Dutch Relations", and "Intersecting Worlds: Ambassadors and Painters", both these exhibited fine paintings, engravings and books from past eras. Fascinating!


  1. Hi there! Tell Becca I am v glad she is an advocate of sahlep! Now for boza!!! It sounds as if you are showing her a really good time here in Istanbul. I am looking forward very much to seeing the Van Gogh exhibition myself. Right now we are in Assos, arrived today and it was so mild and warm.... See you when we get back, I hope! xx

  2. What a fantastic exhibition! Did you see your sunflowers paining? - do you remember when that boy thought you'd bought the original! :-)

  3. Oh, yes, I'd forgotten that! That Sunflowers painting used to hang in the diningroom at Grinham! I gave it to Terry and Sue when we left. I wonder where it is now.


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