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Russkiy v Konstantinopole/Le Russe à Constantinople

  • Kind of Object:
    Guide-book
  • Name:
    Russkiy v Konstantinopole/Le Russe à Constantinople

    Word Count: 6

  • Alternative Names:
    Русский в Константинополе
  • Year Start:
    1921
  • Year End:
    1921
  • Material:

    Hardcover, dark-red. 44 pages.

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Tipografiya “PRESSA”, Asmalı Mescit 35 (now presumably 23), Pera/Beyoğlu, Istanbul.

  • Language:
    Russian
  • City:
    Istanbul (TR)
  • Introduction:

    The guide-book was created for Russian-speaking refugees who had to leave their country and settle in Constantinople.

    Word Count: 17

  • Content:

    The guide-book Russkiy v Konstantinopole/Le Russe à Constantinople was published in 1921 by the "PRESSA" printing house, located near the Tünel Square where Vladimir Kadulin worked at the editorial office of the weekly periodic publication Zarnitsy. The guide is unusual in that it was not created for Russian-speaking tourists who came to relax, but for refugees who had to leave their country. Moreover, the authors of the guide-book were themselves refugees. Alas, their names are not indicated, but most likely they were representatives from the newspaper Presse du Soir which, among other topics, actively covered the events of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople. Since they arrived in the city earlier than many of their compatriots, they became pioneers in terms of discovering the new ‘space’: “It is during the first days of his stay in the city that a Russian refugee, having no information where and to whom he should go and turn, often in vain spends his last funds and last forces, so necessary for him in the upcoming severe struggle for existence [...] The purpose of our publication is to give a guiding initial thread – so that a Russian who arrives in Constantinople, traveling from the landing pier, or from the train station by tram to the city, could immediately get information about the most important things in 5-10 minutes [...].”
    Based on the stated goal, the guide contains the addresses of such critical places as the Russian embassy and consulate, Orthodox churches,  the information bureau, the post office, hospitals, refugee hostels, bath-houses, labour bureaus, educational institutions, and, banks among many others. In addition, the guide-book provides addresses of local Ottoman institutions as well as those of foreign embassies and consulates with a brief description of the conditions for issuing visas to a particular country. The guide-book also offers comprehensive information about hotels in the city. According to the authors, Pera Palace, Tokatlian (where Leon Trotsky stayed, but only for a very short period of time), Bristol and Continental were among the best hotels at the time. Hence, they were “completely inaccessible for Russian emigrants with a more or less limited budget.” Hotels with reasonable prices were those located near the train station (Sirkeci district) and in Galata; the fee was charged “per room, per person or bed.” As for inexpensive furnished rooms for rent, the authors suggested looking for them in Galata, the historical center, as well as in the Asian part of the city (Üsküdar, Kadıköy, Moda). The list of popular eateries included Mayak’s dining room (where the First Russian émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition took place), Russkiy Ochag, Union Française (which offered  special prices for refugees), Lady Lermontova’s dining room, America, Yar, Antonio and Dülber – all of which were situated in the Pera (today’s Beyoğlu) district. La Régence, which was considered a luxury restaurant at the time, most likely is not mentioned, as all of the aforementioned eateries were places with reasonable prices. Last but not least, the guide also provided its readers with information on trams, the tunnel, the bridge, boats, cars, porters, steamships and railways.
    Сuriously, one section is devoted to the history of the city and its attractions: “The Russian refugee, abandoned in November 1920 in Constantinople, has no time to explore the city from a tourist point of view, and delve into the artistic beauties and historical views of Constantinople. However, to everyone who can afford the luxury of at least one day of leisure, we insistently recommend that you make a moral effort on yourself and devote several hours for two to three or four days or one whole day to inspect at least a small part of the artistic and historical treasures in terms of which Constantinople is so rich. We are sure that this moral effort will earn its keep: the soul of a driven, tired Russian person will clear up even for a little while and will rest from the terrible and oppressive impressions of the present while looking at the views of the great past.” An overview of the city’s hotspots begins with the Galata Bridge, which was “convenient for observing the life of the Turkish crowd”, “especially interesting” were the Grand Bazaar, the Topkapı Palace, the “vast building of the imperial” Ottoman Museum, the plane tree of the Janissaries, and the Church of Hagia Irene “transformed into a Zeughaus after the Turkish conquest.” Further, the “treasures” of the city were conditionally divided by the authors into Byzantine monuments and monuments of Islamic art. Among the monuments of Byzantine art are listed; Hagia Sophia (“does not immediately produce the impression that everyone expects from it by hearsay”, “only gradually, and especially when you go inside, you are imbued with the grandeur and beauty of the monument”), the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpent Column, the Column of Constantine, Little Hagia Sophia, the Cistern of Philoxenos, the Aqueduct of Valens, Chora Church/the Kariye Mosque (where Lydia Nikanorova and many other Russian émigré artists actively worked on copying frescoes and mosaics), the walls of Constantinople, and, Yedikule Fortress. Among the monuments of Islamic art are the Hagia Sophia (again), “the most beautiful” and “a rival of Hagia Sophia” Süleymaniye Mosque, the New Mosque near the bridge, Sultan Ahmed Mosque with six minarets, Bayezid II Mosque with its doves, the Eyüp Sultan Mosque “located very far away”, as well as the Şehzade Mosque, the Fatih Mosque, the Sublime Porte (Bâb-ı Âli), Büyük Valide Han where “Persian merchants live” and other locations. It is worth noting that almost all of these locations attracted the attention of Russian émigré artists, especially Alexis Gritchenko and Dimitri Ismailovitch. Upon careful reading of the listed sights, it becomes clear that the authors were keenly interested in the historical part of the city, which they apparently linked to the “great past”, while the European Pera/Beyoğlu and its environs were not admired much; most likely because of the “terrible and oppressive impressions of the present”, since it is there that the hard life of the Russian-speaking refugees was mostly spinning. Calling Pera/Beyoğlu “completely new” and “the location of major hotels and shops”, the guide-book’s compilers stated that neither Galata (apart from the tower) nor Dolmabahçe Palace were “of historical interest”. They were clearly upset about the fact that this colorful eastern city with its motley local crowd had been increasingly taking on a Western European look.

    Word Count: 1081

  • Signature Image:
    Russkiy v Konstantinopole / Le Russe à Constantinople, 1921, cover (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).
  • Media:
    Announcement concerning the publication of the guide-book in the Russian newspaper Presse du Soir, 1921, n.p. (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).
    Russkiy v Konstantinopole / Le Russe à Constantinople, 1921, cover (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).
    Layout of the Grand Rue de Péra (Istiklal Street) from the guide-book, 1921 (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).
    Schematic plan of Constantinople for ‘Russian’ refugees in the guide-book Russkiy v Konstantinopole/Le Russe à Constantinople, 1921 (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).
    Most common words in Turkish for ‘Russian’ refugees from the guide-book, 1921 (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Anonymous. Russkiy v Konstantinopole. Le Russe à Constantinople. Konstantinopl’: Tipografiya “Pressa”, 1921.

    Word Count: 10

  • Archives and Sources:

    Slavonic Library (Slovanská knihovna) in Prague.

    Word Count: 6

  • Acknowledgements:

    I would like to thank the representatives of the Slavonic Library (Slovanská knihovna) in Prague for helping me tremendously during my work at the library.

    Word Count: 25

  • Author:
    Ekaterina Aygün
  • Depicted organisations:
    Pera Palace Hotel
  • Metropolis:
    Istanbul
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Ekaterina Aygün. "Russkiy v Konstantinopole/Le Russe à Constantinople." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2949/object/5140-11876457, last modified: 14-09-2021.
  • Leon Trotsky
    Politician

    Banished by Stalin, the revolutionary politician Leon Trotsky and his entourage arrived in Istanbul in 1929. He settled on Büyükada, one of the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara.

    Word Count: 31

    Trotsky at his desk, Büyükada, 1931, detail (Heijenoort 1978, 15).
    Trotsky at his desk, Büyükada, 1931 (Heijenoort 1978, 15).Yanaros Villa, Nizam Mahallesi Hamlacı Sokak No. 4, residence and exile domicile of Leon Trotsky on Büyükada, 1932/1933 (Heijenoort 1978, 10).Yanaros Villa, Nizam Mahallesi Hamlacı Sokak No. 4, Büyükada, 1932–33, view from the cul-de-sac (Heijenoort 1978, 10).Trotsky and entourage on a boat trip, Büyükada, around 1931–33 (Heijenoort 1978, 12).Yanaros Villa, Nizam Mahallesi Hamlacı Sokak No. 4, Büyükada, site of the 14th Istanbul Biennial in 2015 (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci).Adrián Villar Rojas’ installation The Most Beautiful of All Mothers at the Yanaros Villa, Nizam Mahallesi Hamlacı Sokak No. 4, Büyükada, as part of the 14th Istanbul Biennial in 2015 (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci).
    Istanbul
    Alexis Gritchenko
    PainterArt Historian

    During the two years of his life that he spent in Istanbul, Alexis Gritchenko produced more paintings dedicated to the city than many artists produce in an entire lifetime.

    Word Count: 29

    Portrait of Alexis Gritchenko by Turkish painter Namık İsmail, 1920. Private collection. Istanbul, Meşher Art Gallery, “Alexis Gritchenko – İstanbul Yılları” Exhibition (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2020).
    Portrait of Alexis Gritchenko by Turkish painter Namık İsmail, 1920. Private collection. Istanbul, Meşher Art Gallery, “Alexis Gritchenko – İstanbul Yılları” Exhibition (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2020).Istanbul, Meşher Art Gallery, “Alexis Gritchenko – İstanbul Yılları” Exhibition (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2020).Byzantine Church Converted Into a Mosque, March 1920. Collection of the National Art Museum of Ukraine. Istanbul, Meşher Art Gallery, “Alexis Gritchenko – İstanbul Yılları” Exhibition (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2020).Landscape with Domes, October 1920. Collection of the National Art Museum of Ukraine. Istanbul, Meşher Art Gallery, “Alexis Gritchenko – İstanbul Yılları” Exhibition (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2020).Street in Eyüp, November 1920. Ömer Koç Koleksiyonu. Istanbul, Meşher Art Gallery, “Alexis Gritchenko – İstanbul Yılları” Exhibition (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2020).Three Turks in a Coffeehouse, February 1921. Ömer Koç Koleksiyonu. Istanbul, Meşher Art Gallery, “Alexis Gritchenko – İstanbul Yılları” Exhibition (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2020).
    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
    Vladimir Kadulin
    PainterCaricaturist

    When it comes to Russian émigré caricaturists in Istanbul, Vladimir Kadulin who worked under the pseudonym Nayadin for the almanac Zarnitsy is the first to come to mind.

    Word Count: 28

    The group of initiators of the convocation of the All-Russian Congress of Artists, Kiev, 1910. Vladimir Kadulin is on the far right (Kievskaya Mysl’, no.16, 18 April 1910).
    The group of initiators of the convocation of the All-Russian Congress of Artists, Kiev, 1910. Vladimir Kadulin is on the far right (Kievskaya Mysl’, no.16, 18 April 1910).One of the caricatures by Nayadin (Vladimir Kadulin), Before The Storm: “The newspapers: ‘Many millions of peasants, sweeping away everything in their path, go to Moscow.’ Lenin: Oh! It seems to me that this time even foreign umbrellas won't help us…” (Zarnitsy, no. 21, 4 September 1921).One of the wall paintings by Vladimir Kadulin in Katinka Restaurant in Tampa, Florida (Tampa Bay Times, 8 November 1926, p. 18).Teaching The Doctrines of Marx by Vladimir Kadulin (Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa), 20 September 1931, p. 27).
    Istanbul
    Lydia Nikanorova
    Painter

    In Istanbul, Nikanorova worked at copying the mosaics and frescoes of the Kariye Mosque, and met her future husband, Georges Artemoff, also an émigré artist from the former Russian Empire.

    Word Count: 30

    Lydia Nikanorova and her husband Georges Artemoff in Clamart, France (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).
    Lydia Nikanorova and her husband Georges Artemoff in Clamart, France (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Georges Artemoff painting Lydia Nikanorova’s portrait in Istanbul (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Émigré artists at Caveau Caucasien in Paris. From left to right: Sandro Minervine, Serge Pimenoff, Lydia Nikanorova, Georges Artemoff (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Self-portrait by Lydia Nikanorova (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Small house in Clamart, France, by Lydia Nikanorova (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).
    Istanbul
    First Russian émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition
    Exhibition

    The first Russian-speaking émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition was a one-day event but its success led to the formation of the Union and paved the way for other exhibitions.

    Word Count: 29

    Portrait of the poet Maximilian Voloshin (one of the representatives of the Symbolist movement in Russian culture and literature) by Boleslav Cybis that was presented at the exhibition. Boleslav Cybis was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople who was fond of representing truths symbolically, combining figurative thinking with ideas of the avant-garde (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    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).Portrait of the poet Maximilian Voloshin (one of the representatives of the Symbolist movement in Russian culture and literature) by Boleslav Cybis that was presented at the exhibition. Boleslav Cybis was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople who was fond of representing truths symbolically, combining figurative thinking with ideas of the avant-garde (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    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
    Pera Palace Hotel
    Hotel

    The Pera Palace was the gem of Pera district where people gathered to wine and dine and be entertained, as well as to discuss the issues of the day.

    Word Count: 29

    Pera Palace Hotel, Tepebaşı (SALT Araştırma, Fotoğraf ve Kartpostal Arşivi, Istanbul).
    Pera Palace Hotel, Tepebaşı (SALT Araştırma, Fotoğraf ve Kartpostal Arşivi, Istanbul).Image of Pera Palace Hotel (Güneş Newspaper, 14 April 1991).Jazz-Band du Pera Palace by photographer Jean Weinberg (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928).
    Istanbul
    Rejans
    Café / Restaurant

    Rejans (now 1924 Istanbul) restaurant, at the end of the Olivya Passageway is one of Beyoğlu’s landmarks. A relic of 1920s “Russian Istanbul”, where the original atmosphere has been preserved.

    Word Count: 31

    1924 Istanbul, interior (© 1924 Istanbul, Sashah Anton Khan).
    An advertisement from the Nashi Dni almanac, 1921.An advertisement from the Nashi Dni almanac, 1921.Announcement concerning the Turkuaz/Turkuvaz restaurant's (Olivio Passageway) events. From the Russian newspaper Presse du Soir, 1924, n.p. (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).Turkuaz/Turkuvaz restaurant-casino, beauty contest, 1931 (CFA_003750, © Suna ve İnan Kıraç Vakfı Fotoğraf Koleksiyonu, Istanbul).Turkuaz/Turkuvaz restaurant-casino, beauty contest, 1931 (CFA_003754, © Suna ve İnan Kıraç Vakfı Fotoğraf Koleksiyonu, Istanbul).1924 Istanbul, interior (© 1924 Istanbul, Sashah Anton Khan).Atatürk's table which is reserved forever (© 1924 Istanbul, Sashah Anton Khan).1924 Istanbul, Borsch Soup (© 1924 Istanbul, Sashah Anton Khan).1924 Istanbul, "Yellow vodka" (© 1924 Istanbul, Sashah Anton Khan).
    Istanbul