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Nikolai Saraphanoff

  • Given name:
    Nikolai
  • Last name:
    Saraphanoff
  • Alternative names:

    Николай Сарафанов, Nikolai Saraphanof, Nicolai Saraphanoff, Nikolay Sarafanov

  • Date of Birth:
    1855
  • Profession:
    IllustratorPainter
  • Introduction:

    The artist is known for his numerous works with views of Istanbul, the design of the famous almanac’s cover, and the creation of decorative panels. Alas, his artistic activities were interrupted by his imprisonment.

    Word Count: 35

  • Signature Image:
    Self-portrait by Nikolai Saraphanoff who created an elegant cover for the almanac Les Russes sur le Bosphore, 1927 (Russkiye na Bosfore. Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).
  • Content:

    All that is known about Nikolai Saraphanoff's Russian past is that he was born in St. Petersburg in 1855. At the beginning of the 1920s, he fled to Istanbul, where, if only for a short time, he became a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople and participated in its exhibitions. It is known that he was admitted to membership on the ballot on December 21, 1922. After the collapse of the Union in 1923, Saraphanoff continued to communicate closely with local Russian-speaking émigrés; possibly because his Turkish was far from perfect and he struggled with the language barrier. As an example, we can cite his active participation in a major event dedicated to Russian culture in 1926 at one of the city’s Russian clubs, which was expressed in the creation of decorations. In addition, in 1927, together with other émigré artists and journalists, he not only worked on the almanac Les Russes sur le Bosphore but also created its cover. It is safe to say that he was well acquainted with Nikolai Kalmykoff and Dimitri Ismailovitch since they participated in almost all of the above activities together. Nikolai Saraphanoff painted many different views of the city, focusing mainly on the various mosques and streets in the old town. The reason behind this choice could be his desire to sell them as soon as possible because such artworks were in demand at the time. Now, they often can be seen at the local auctions. The artist himself had a rather tragic fate; a military court sentenced him to 25 years of imprisonment for “political guilt” ( Anonymous, "Ankara cinayeti etrafında dünkü yeni ifşaat", 1946). According to the émigré Roxana Umarova (with whom the researcher Marina Sığırcı had a chance to speak), shortly before the start of World War II, the artist was “falsely accused by the Turkish authorities of spying for Soviet Russia” (Sığırcı 2018, 79).

    Word Count: 314

  • Media:
    Cover of Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac by Nikolai Saraphanoff, 1927.
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Anonymous. “V Soyuze Hudojnikov.” Presse du Soir, 23 December 1922, p. 3.  

    Anonymous. "Den' Russkoy Kul'tury." Vecherniaia Gazeta, 3 June 1926, n.p.

    Anonymous. "Ankara cinayeti etrafında dünkü yeni ifşaat." Cumhuriyet, 30 May 1946, p. 2.

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

    Sığırcı, Marina. Spasibo, Konstantinopol’! Po sledam beloemigrantov v Turtsii. “Yevropeyskiy Dom”, 2018.

    Word Count: 59

  • Archives and Sources:

    Istanbul Çelik Gülersoy Library.

    Word Count: 5

  • Acknowledgements:

    My deepest thanks go to Neslihan Yalav (Istanbul Çelik Gülersoy Library).

    Word Count: 12

  • Author:
    Ekaterina Aygün
  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Küçük Yazıcı 4 (now presumably Tarlabaşı Blv. 79), Hüseyinağa, Beyoğlu, Istanbul (studio); Bursa Street 40 (now Sadri Alışık 40), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (studio).

  • Metropolis:
    Istanbul
  • Ekaterina Aygün. "Nikolai Saraphanoff." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2949/object/5138-12042317, last modified: 14-09-2021.
  • Les Russes sur le Bosphore
    Almanac

    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

    Cover of Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1927.
    Cover of Russians on the Bosphorus (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1927).Newspaper announcement concerning the publication of the almanac (Radio Newspaper, 1927, n.p.).Newspaper announcement concerning the almanac’s publication and its points of sale (Radio Newspaper, 1927, p. 3).Self-portrait by Nikolai Saraphanof who created an elegant cover for the almanac, 1927 (Russkiye na Bosfore. Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).
    Istanbul
    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople
    Association

    The Union existed for less than two years but in that short space of time a tremendous amount of work was done by its members, refugees from the Russian Empire.

    Word Count: 30

    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople logo from 1922 membership card of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople (Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti).
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).1922 membership card of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople (Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople logo painted by T. Sabaneeff, 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 1 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).One of the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 10 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Exhibition of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 6 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Konstantinopol’skiy Kommercheskiy Klub
    Club

    KKK was probably the most popular Russian club in Beyoğlu district between 1924 and 1926. Not only Russian émigrés but also local residents could enjoy its constantly updated entertainment programme.

    Word Count: 30

    Some of the Russian artists who took an active part in the club’s events, clockwise from top left: violinist Pavel Alekseevich Zamoulenko, singer Maria de Monighetti, ballerina Yevgeniya Vorobyova, poet and musician Ivan Andreevich Korvatsky (Zarubezhnyi Klich almanacs of 1925).
    The name of the club as listed in the Zarubezhnyi Klich almanac, April 1925.The first chairman of the club, Nikolai Alekseevich Ilyin-Chesmensky (Zarubezhnyi Klich almanac, April 1925, n.p.).Some of the Russian artists who took an active part in the club’s events, clockwise from top left: violinist Pavel Alekseevich Zamoulenko, singer Maria de Monighetti, ballerina Yevgeniya Vorobyova, poet and musician Ivan Andreevich Korvatsky (Zarubezhnyi Klich almanacs of 1925).Istiklal Caddesi 130 (Elhamra Han), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2019).
    Istanbul
    Dimitri Ismailovitch
    PainterArt Historian

    In Istanbul, Ismailovitch became one of the leaders of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, organised three solo exhibitions, and made contribution to the study of Byzantine art.

    Word Count: 29

    Dimitri Ismailovitch with his bust created by Polish sculptor Roman Bilinski, Istanbul, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Dimitri Ismailovitch, 1907, Sumy Cadet Corps (with permission from https://www.ria1914.info/).Dimitri Ismailovitch with his bust created by Polish sculptor Roman Bilinski, Istanbul, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Reproduction of the Kariye Mosque’s mosaic. In the foreground is its author, Dimitri Ismailovitch (Russkiye na Bosfore. Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).Photographs of the artworks by Dimitri Ismailovitch, 1923. Source: Album “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from D. Ismailovitch”, XII–XI, p. 11 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Photographs of the artworks by Dimitri Ismailovitch, 1924. Source: Album “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from D. Ismailovitch”, 9–10, p. 24 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Photographs of the artworks by Dimitri Ismailovitch. Source: Album “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from D. Ismailovitch”, p. 36 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Front cover of the 1948 Dimitri İsmailovitch exhibition catalogue (© Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux).Ekaterina Aygün chanced upon Dimitri Ismailovitch's visiting card at the Avni Lifij exhibition in Istanbul. This is further evidence of contact between Ismailovitch and Turkish painters (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2019).The Piyale Pasha Mosque (was designed by Mimar Sinan and rebuilt in the mid. of the 19th century) was depicted by Dimitri İsmailovitch and Alexis Gritchenko in 1920 (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2021).
    Istanbul
    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

    Nikolai Kalmykoff (http://www.antikalar.com/naci-kalmukoglu).
    Nikolai Kalmykoff (http://www.antikalar.com/naci-kalmukoglu).Naci Kalmukoğlu, Liman (© Ankara Devlet Resim ve Heykel Müzesi).Naci Kalmukoğlu, Köyde tütün işleyenler (© Ankara Devlet Resim ve Heykel Müzesi).Works by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 12 February 1941, p. 2).Works by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 13 February 1941, p. 1).Nikolai Kalmykoff by Turkish caricaturist Ratip Tahir Burak (Ulus, 27 March 1943, p. 2).Exhibition in Ankara (Ulus, 28 March 1943, p. 2).Fortuneteller, by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 15 November 1947, p. 3).
    Istanbul