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Jules Kanzler

  • Kanzler spent part of his life in the Russian Empire as a painter and the other in Turkey as a photographer who “documented” the early years of the Turkish Republic.
  • Jules
  • Kanzler
  • Ю. Канцлер, Жюль Канцлер, Izzet Kaya Kanzler

  • Crimea (UA)
  • Burlingame (US)
  • PainterPhotographer
  • Kanzler spent part of his life in the Russian Empire as a painter and the other in Turkey as a photographer who “documented” the early years of the Turkish Republic.

    Word Count: 30

  • Jules Kanzler (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1927).
  • Jules Kanzler spent part of his life in the Russian Empire as a painter and the other in Turkey as a photographer. He is known not only as a photographer who portrayed the Russian-speaking émigrés of Istanbul but also as a figure who “documented” the early years of the Turkish Republic.
    Born in Crimea (one can draw many parallels between him and Semion Lifshitz), the artist studied at Odessa Art School, lived there for some time, and even organised a solo exhibition in France. After the Revolution of 1917, he moved to Istanbul, which he already knew due to the fact that in 1910 he had visited the city in order to participate in one of the local exhibitions. After Kanzler moved to Istanbul, he decided to dedicate himself to photography and open his own photo studio. Firstly, because he was deeply interested in this field, and secondly, because this profession was quite profitable at that time. Kanzler's photo studio moved from one building to another two times but was always located on Istiklal Avenue (previously Grande Rue de Péra). The photo studio was very popular among both Russian émigrés and local residents. The reasons for this were not only Kanzler's strong work ethic and accuracy, but also the uniqueness of his photographic works, which looked more like oil paintings. According to Evren Burçak, he also took photographs of Istanbul, which resembled picture-postcard views rather than images of city life. Seemingly, this was due to his education. In the 1920s, he actively communicated with many Russian émigrés and knew them personally. Thus, some famous artists left their works in his photo studio in order to find clients (in a likely manner Muhsin Ertuğrul met Nikolai Peroff and invited him to work at the Istanbul theatre). Furthermore, photographs from Kanzler's archive were published in the almanac Les Russes sur le Bosphore, a joint work of Russian émigrés in Istanbul.
    His talent did not go unnoticed, and soon he was invited to work as a photojournalist to “document” the process of the Turkish Republic's formation and the activities of its founders. The TBMM archive contains an album of photographs taken during the celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the Republic’s foundation. Judging by the available sources, which unfortunately are not so numerous, Kanzler was married to a (presumably) Turkish woman, lived near Taksim Square (close to Rudolf Belling), continued to take photographs, and was on friendly terms with Turkish artists. After the Second World War, he moved to California where he continued to make pictures: mainly wedding portraits, and portraits of children and graduating students. Being a member of the local Turkish-American colony, he attended a civic reception on the occasion of the birthday of Celal Bayar in Los Angeles: "There was Jules Kanzler, a photographer who had made pictures of President Bayar during the 26 years he worked in İstanbul" (Anonymous, "Turkish President Meets 500 at Civic Reception", 1954). Unfortunately, there is no information about how his life ended.

    Word Count: 501

  • Jules Kanzler (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1927).
    Valentina Taskina, by Jules Kanzler (Güneş, 9 August 1990).
    Photographs of artworks by young Turkish painters, Jules Kanzler, 1929 (Uyanış, 19 September 1929, p. 42).
    Photo by Jules Kanzler of one of the participants in the beauty contest (Cumhuriyet, 15 May 1929, n.p.).
    Photographs by Jules Kanzler (Uyanış, 18 April 1929, p. 1).
    Advertisement for Jules Kanzler's photo studio in Istanbul (Derjavnaya Rus', n.d., p. 21).
    Advertisement for Jules Kanzler's photo studio in Burlingame, California (The Times (San Mateo, California), 6 February 1948, p. 6).
  • Anonymous. “Photo Russe Electrique.” Presse du Soir, April 1920, n.p.

    Anonymous. "Turkish President Meets 500 at Civic Reception." The Los Angeles Times, 10 February 1954, p. 14.

    Aygun, Ekaterina. “İkinci Ev Bulma Öyküsü.” Sanat Dünyamız, no. 177, 2020, pp. 46–51.

    Bournakine, Anatoliy, editor. Russkiye na Bosfore. Les Russes sur le Bosphore. Imp. L. Babok & fils, 1928.

    Deleon, Jak. “Beyoğlu’nda İz Bırakanlar 2.” Güneş, 9 August 1990, n.p.

    Evren, Burçak. “Jules Kanzler.” Tombak, no. 27, 1999, pp. 4–6.

    Ziflioğlu, Vercihan.“Beni Unutma Rusyam” Asırlık Sürgün. Kuzey Işığı Yayınları, 2019.

    Word Count: 89

  • Slavonic Library (Slovanská knihovna) in Prague.

    Archive of Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

    The Republican Archive of the Prime Ministry (Turkey).

    Word Count: 21

  • Ekaterina Aygün
  • Istanbul, Ottoman Empire/Turkey (1920–1946).

  • Grand Rue de Pera 197 (now presumably İstiklal Caddesi 133), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (studio); Grand Rue de Pera 374/376 (now presumably Istiklal Caddesi 150), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (studio); Grand Rue de Pera 67 (now presumably Istiklal Caddesi 51), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (studio); Gayret Apartmanı, Ayaspaşa (could be Talimhane), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (residence).

  • Istanbul
  • Ekaterina Aygün. "Jules Kanzler." METROMOD Archive, 2021,, last modified: 17-09-2021.
  • Rudolf Belling

    As a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts and Technical University in Istanbul from 1937 until 1966, Rudolf Belling taught his students the technicalities of form, material and proportion.

    Word Count: 28

    Nikolai Peroff
    PainterArt restorerIconographerChoir DirectorCharitable Society’s ChairmanScene Designer

    Nikolai Peroff lived in Istanbul until the end of his life. He was engaged in restorations, carried out scene decorations, and did a lot for the Russian churches in Karaköy.

    Word Count: 31

    Nikolai Kalmykoff
    PainterScene DesignerMuralist

    Kalmykoff played an active part in the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople and at the same time worked as a stage designer. Later he acquired the Turkish citizenship.

    Word Count: 29

    Les Russes sur le Bosphore

    The almanac Les Russes sur le Bosphore is a joint work of Russian-speaking émigrés in Istanbul who were faced with the challenge of leaving the country or becoming naturalised.

    Word Count: 30

    Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte Apartment

    The exiled architects Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte lived from 1938 in an apartment in Kabataş, on the European side of Istanbul. The flat has been preserved in numerous photographs, allowing the interior design to be reconstructed. The view of the Bosporus from the balcony was spectacular.

    Word Count: 48

    Semion Markovich Lifshitz

    Sam Sanzetti was a precocious photographer and portrait artist, whose signature style came to define the aesthetic of the Shanghai bourgeoisie. The portraits produced in Sanzetti Studio, masterfully retouched and delicately hand-tinted, reflected the growing fascination with Hollywood.

    Word Count: 38