Beginning with the Tanzimat reforms, the living quarters of heirs to the throne at Dolmabahçe Palace (the “Veliahd Residence”), also became the architectural symbol of the conclusion of the princes’ introverted life and the transition to their days of freedom.
After approximately seven years of restoration work, the Veliahd Residence was turned into a museum of contemporary museology standards and presented to the art lovers as “National Palaces Painting Museum”. The museum, which operates under the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, as a part of the Directorate of National Palaces, consists of 11 sections in thematic integrity.
Sultan Abdülmecid / Sultan Abdülaziz Hall
The first section of the museum is the hall displaying the portraits of Sultan Abdülmecid and Sultan Abdülaziz. Sultan Abdülmecit, who had the Dolmabahçe Palace built, and the Sultan's brother Abdulaziz, for whom the Veliahd Residence was commissioned, are two important figures in the 19th century Ottoman history.
Westernization in the Ottoman Empire
The evidence of the changes seen in the military and social spheres of the Ottoman Empire, which has been in intensive communication with the West since the beginning of the 18th century, can be traced in this section.
Caliph Abdülmecid Efendi / Istanbul Views
This part of the museum is the library of the Caliph Abdülmecit Efendi in the Veliahd Residence. Caliph Abdülmecit Efendi, who was the last successor and the last caliph of the Ottoman Empire, was interested in almost all fields of art, especially calligraphy and music. Caliph Abdülmecit Efendi had settled in Dolmabahçe Palace after he was elected caliph and moved his library there. This section hosts paintings of Istanbul vistas belonging to local and foreign artists.
Paintings Purchased for the Palace from the Goupil Gallery
This section consists of paintings bought from the Goupil Art Gallery in Paris during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz. The paintings purchased during this period reflect the tastes of Sultan Abdülaziz and his aide Şeker Ahmed Pasha. For the first time in the Ottoman palace, a collection of Western-style paintings was created during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz in the Dolmabahçe Palace.
Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky Hall
The most spectacular space of the building is the Ceremony Hall with its plated and composite plastered walls. This hall is reserved for the famous Russian painter Aivazovsky, whose paintings are mostly about the sea and reflect light and shadow in a remarkable harmony.
Sultan Abdülaziz worked with the Polish painter Stanislaw Chlebowski as a court painter. During the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II, the Italian painter Luigi Acquarone served as a court painter, and another Italian painter Fausto Zonaro replaced him following his death. This section consists of the paintings of the names who work as palace artists.
Orientalist Painters; The Charm of the East
Orientalist paintings depict the East from the European point of view, with scenes that highlight the cultural characteristics of the inspired regions.
Aides as Artists
This section is devoted to the works of painters who combine their military identities with their artistry such as Osman Nuri Paşa and Şeker Ahmet Paşa.
Turkish Painters (1870-1890)
In this section, the works of the Turkish artists considered to be the second and third generations of westernized Turkish painting, such as Şeker Ahmed Paşa, Süleyman Seyyid, Osman Hamdi Bey and Halil Paşa, are displayed.
Portraits and Compositions on History / Landscape in the Ottoman Palace
The center section of the hall is devoted to portraits and historical compositions. The landscape paintings of many local and foreign artists are displayed in this part.
Turkish Painters (1890-1930)
The last two sections of the museum are devoted to the works of the artists who constitute the third and fourth generation of Turkish painting in the Western sense. In these sections, the works of artists such as Hüseyin Zekâi Pasha, Hoca Ali Rıza, Şevket Dağ, İbrahim Çallı and Hikmet Onat are exhibited.
• Open for visits every day 09:00 to 17:00, except Mondays.
• No photography allowed indoors (cameras and mobile phones).
• Our museum is equipped with a central alarm system. Please do not touch the displays.
• Reservation is required for group trips.