Nazmi Ziya Güran
Nazmi Ziya was born in the Aksaray district of Istanbul in 1881. He was the son of Ziya Bey, a descendant of Molla Gürânî, the fifteenth-century scholar known for being Sultan Mehmed II’s tutor. He took his first painting lessons from Hoca Ali Rıza, and after completing his studies at the Mekteb-i Mülkiyye (College of Public Administration) per his father’s wishes, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1902, becoming a student of Salvatore Valeri, Joseph Warnia-Zarzecki, and Osgan Efendi. After graduating in 1908, he travelled to Paris with the support of his family in 1909, attending Jean-Paul Laurens’s studio at the Académie Julian. He continued his studies at Fernand Cormon’s studio at the École des Beaux-Arts. He also travelled to Germany and Austria during this time, visiting many museums. He returned from Europe in 1913. In 1915, he and İbrahim Çallı were selected as painters for the delegation assembled by Enver Paşa to document the Gallipoli front during combat. Nazmi Ziya engaged in trade in order to provide for his family under the difficult conditions of the First World War. He was appointed director of the Izmir Teacher Training School, and later worked as a teaching inspector in Istanbul. He took part in the Galatasaray Exhibitions from their inception in 1916 onwards, both exhibiting his works and acting as a jury member. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts as an administrator in 1917, serving as its director for two separate periods, between 1918-1921 and 1925-1927. He taught at the Academy until his death in 1937. The same year, one of the exhibitions organised by the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts became Nazmi Ziya’s first solo exhibition. This was the first solo exhibition of this scope ever held for a Turkish painter.
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