Fahrelnissa Zeid (Turkish, 1901-91) The amphitheatre at the Bergama Festival
oil and ink on cardboard, inscribed lower left "Fahrelnissa Zeid Bargama Festivali ..Hazaran (June) 1945" 46.5 x 59.2 cm.
Provenance: UK private collection; acquired directly from the artist in the mid 1970s.
Initiated by Atatürk,the first president of Turkish Republic, the Bergama Festival or Bergama Kermesi, aims to promote the historical and natural beauties of Bergama (ancient Pergamon), the Izmir town in which it is held. It started in 1937 as the first local cultural festival in Turkey and was the second in the world after the Nice festival in France. Each year, the people of Bergama welcome visitors from all the different corners of the world. In addition to concerts and entertainments, visitors also attend lectures and panel discussions of well-known writers and scholars.
For another version of this same scene entitled "Pergamon" and dated 1943 in the Istanbul Modern Collection, see Ileri, Cem (Ed.), Fahrelnissa & Nejad. Two Generations of the Rainbow, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, 2006, p. 124.