Born in Padua, Italy, Fausto Zonaro trained for three years in Lendinara and later attended the studio of Napoleone Nani at the Accademia Cignaroli. For a while, he lived and exhibited his work in Paris and various towns in Italy. He arrived in Istanbul in 1891, where he painted landscapes of the city, scenes from daily life, and portraits. His work depicting the Ertuğrul regiment passing over the Galata Bridge was presented to the court through the Grand Vizier Ferid Paşa in 1896, and was bought by Sultan Abdülhamid II (r. 1876-1909). Zonaro was awarded the Order of Mecidiye, and the same year he was given the official title of Court Painter. He also put on exhibitions and offered private painting lessons in the building he was given in Akaretler in 1898, counting Celâl Esad Arseven and Mihri (Müşfik) Hanım among his students. Prince Abdülmecid Efendi, who was one of Zonaro’s private students and with whom he developed a close friendship, also acquired some of the artist’s paintings for his collection. Zonaro sold his works in the display windows of the Zellich Bookstore in Yüksekkaldırım between 1891 and 1894, and participated in the Istanbul Salon Exhibitions in 1901 and 1902. His final solo exhibition in the city took place in 1908, featuring three hundred of his paintings. When Abdülhamid II was deposed in 1909, his palace staff was made redundant. Thus Zonaro returned to Italy in 1910, where he continued to produce works depicting Istanbul.
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