Prof. Arthur Kampf, Atatürk, Çankaya Mansion, 1927

Prof. Arthur Kampf, Atatürk, Çankaya Mansion, 1927
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Prof. Arthur Kampf, Atatürk, Çankaya Mansion, 1927


In almost every state, it is a tradition to have portraits of presidents made by famous painters and hung in official offices. At Atatürk's table, this subject becomes topical from time to time. Atatürk gives the name of Arthur Kampf for this work. Because this painter has memories of his works.

During the First World War, our ally, the German Emperor, came to Turkey. This visit must be refunded. However, the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet Reşad has prostate disease. His health is not conducive to a long road trip and ceremonies to be held in Berlin. In this respect, the task is given to the future sultan Vahdettin. He takes Mustafa Kemal Pasha as an aide to the crown prince. They arrive in Berlin after a long train journey together. During his days in Berlin, Mustafa Kemal visits museums. At the Military Museum he admires the dazzling historical paintings of Arthur Kampf. Under the influence of this impression, Mustafa Kemal will not only have Kampf's portrait painted, but also want some scenes from the War of Independence to be transferred to canvas.

Arthur Kampf came to Istanbul in December 1921 upon the invitation of the Ministry of Education. He is accompanied by 24-year-old Fikret Mualla, a student from the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. He considers using her as a translator for his studies in Turkey. However, an interpreter was previously selected for the professor in Ankara.

Arthur Kampf painted a civilian portrait of Mustafa Kemal in front of the Turkish flag in Çankaya, with one standing and the other on horseback wearing a field marshal uniform. Meanwhile, he prepared a head and a bust with pencil drawing.

The portraits were sent to Vienna, reproduced and distributed to government offices. Arthur Kampf's works, until the portraits by Çallı and Feyhaman, became the fixtures of official offices.

Arthur Kampf's portraits, both on a horse and standing, were criticized by some artists for being out of proportion in terms of physics. Perhaps for this reason, portraits of Atatürk were commissioned by famous Turkish painters. For the first time, Çallı and Feyhaman were assigned to this issue. While Atatürk was giving this task, he joked with Çallı a lot. Hearing that Çallı was a "Hane bum", Atatürk allocated a room from the palace in Fındıklı for him to sleep and wake up. Brilliant portraits of Çallı and Duran were distributed to government offices.

It was heard from his wife, Latife Hanım, that a Russian painter also came to Ankara in the early years of the Republic to paint Atatürk's portraits. However, neither such a portrait nor the portrait of Atatürk made by some Russian painters from wheat grains in 1933 could be reached.


Other Atatürk Works of the Artist

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Prof. Arthur Kampf, Atatürk, Çankaya Mansion, 1927