Born in Le Mans, Dominique Charles Fouqueray studied under portraitist Alexander Cabenel and historical painter Fernand Cormon. Although the influences of his teachers are apparent in his compositions, Fouqueray was most influenced by the events of the First World War. He became an official painter to the French Navy and sailed on several tours to the colonies in Africa, Asia and the Australian continents. His is one of very few contemporary viewpoints of this important age of European Imperialism, providing him with an important and unique niche in the annals of French art. Fouqueray was awarded numerous awards during his career, most notable being his appointment to the position of officier de la Légion d'honneur in 1909, as well as the Rosa Bonheur award (also in 1909) and a gold medal for engraving in 1920.
Many of Fouquereay's larger works are housed in museums across France, such as his L'Affaire des Brûlots now in Musée de l'île d'Aix, Pélerins à Djeddah, now in the Musée du quai Branly and his depiction of the naval battle entitled Palerme, 3 Juin 1676 in the collection of the Musée D'Orsay in Paris. Another important and large scale commission that Fouquereay completed were the decorations of Hôtel de Ville in Niort.
Fouqueray painted a limited number of works during his stay in Constantinople. Two comparable examples to the present lot were in the collection of Mr. Erol Aksoy and were sold in his sale at Antik A.S. in Istanbul in 2005 (fig. 1 and 2). The present lot depicts the north-western facade of Yeni Cami, a prominent element of Constantinople's impressive skyline. This mosque is widely considered the last example of the grand Ottoman mosques. Construction of the mosque begun in 1597 under Murat III and the building was finished under Mehmet IV in 1663.
Although at first sight the palette of the artist may appear impressionistic and fanciful, for anyone who has witnessed a sunset in Istanbul such daring colors like purple, lavender and pink are a daily occuring natural feast for the eyes (fig. 3).
(fig. 1) Dominique Charles Fouqueray, Rumeli Hisari, Private Collection, Photo Courtesy: Antik A.S., Istanbul.
(fig. 2) Dominique Charles Fouqueray, Yani Cami, Private Collection, Photo Courtesy: Antik A.S., Istanbul.
(fig. 3) A contemporary photograh of Yeni Cami in Istanbul.