"Giorgione is regarded as a unique figure in the history of art: almost no other Western painter has left so few secure works and enjoyed such fame..." Sylvia Ferino-Pagden.

My website, MyGiorgione, now includes my interpretations of Giorgione's "Tempest" as "The Rest on the Flight into Egypt"; his "Three Ages of Man" as "The Encounter of Jesus with the Rich Young Man"; and Titian's, "Sacred and Profane Love" as "The Conversion of Mary Magdalen."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hasan Niyazi R.I.P.



                                            

I just heard that Hasan Niyazi, my friend and fellow Art history blogger, died suddenly over the weekend.  Hasan was from Australia and in the past three years, his blog, Three Pipe Problem (3PP), had become one of the most popular Art history blogs in the world. He was the son of Turkish Cypriots who had migrated to Australia when Hasan was a young boy. Like Raphael, his favorite painter, Hasan died tragically in the prime of life.


His passion was the art of the Italian Renaissance. He claimed that his interest in Art began at the age of nine when he found a copy of a book by famed art historian Erwin Panofsky. I wonder if it began on the island of Cyprus under the eyes of the goddess Aphrodite, the beloved deity of the island.

I first encountered Hasan when I commented on a blog post he had written for 3PP in July of 2010 on Giorgione’s “Tempest.” We had a spirited back and forth that showed that Hasan was willing to engage in debate but that he was also open to new ideas if they could be backed up with hard evidence. Even though he loved the art of the Renaissance, he had trained and worked in the sciences and believed that Art history should be subject to the same rules that governed the sciences.

Our first encounter led to many more. He helped me immeasurably not only with his research into favorite painters like Raphael but also with the technical aspects of blogging. He was a wizard of design and had a great flair for using images in his work. He willingly shared his knowledge with me, a web newcomer.

Eventually, he allowed me to publish some of my discoveries and reviews on his site. His site was growing by leaps and bounds and he gave me the opportunity to reach a much larger audience. It was not easy because he was a stern taskmaster and editor. We had many arguments and disagreements but I believe we both gained by the exchanges. When I sent him my interpretation of Titian’s  “Sacred and Profane Love,” he chided me for not discussing all the previous interpretations, and eventually decided to do that on his own. It was a great example of web-based cooperation.

Speaking of the Web, Hasan ended his last post with these words.
The future of art history and the internet is a very exciting prospect. This goes beyond the fact that more art historians and institutions are engaging online, but also expands to include an increased public participation and interest in learning about art and history outside of an institutional and pedagogical content. The web allows quality knowledge, and fascinating images and video to be accessible everywhere, and by everyone--hence the potential for art history online is essentially limitless.
As a small token I would like to dedicate my most recent discovery to the memory of Hasan. One of his favorite paintings was Titian’s “Pastoral Concert.” Earlier this year I sent him an advance copy before I posted it on my own website and blog. He read it and very kindly spread the word among his friends and followers. I interpreted the painting as Titian’s homage to his friend Giorgione on his sudden and tragic death at the age of 33.


We never met and he lived on the other side of the world in a place he called, Oz. But he was a dear friend and colleague.

Goodbye, young friend.

Frank

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11 comments:

  1. Thanks for this lovely tribute, Frank. I have also been thinking of the many interactions that I have had with Hasan over the years. I was quite sure that we would meet one day, perhaps at an art history conference or some other event. If only he could have joined us in New York earlier this year! Hasan will surely be missed by many.

    -Monica

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  2. I just read your tribute and am so glad you thought of the Transfiguration. I didn't know that Hasan was 37. I don't know of any other site on the web that was like his.

    F

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  3. Nice to see your mention of Hasan as a blogging wizard as well. He managed to create a successful and attractive site that will stand as a great art historical resource (in addition to what is done on Open Raphael).

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  4. Jenna:

    I don't know what will happen to his site or the material on it, That would seem to be one of the real problems with web publishing. It would be a shame if all of Hasan's work were lost. Thanks for your comment.

    Frank

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    1. Frank, thank you for your concern but his team is onto it and would not allow his work to go to wast

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  5. He was my Sister's Best friend in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. He was a nice guy. i never met him, but my sister & my sister in law and also my brother is always talking abt him ... he was a good friend indeed.

    May God Rest his Soul in Peace.

    Chinmay Tripathi
    India

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  6. Frank,

    I am Hasan's brother in law. Your tribute has brought me to tears throughout the day today after reading it a number of times. I will be showing it to Hasan's mother and sister (my wife), and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing it.

    Metin

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  7. A lovely tribute. I will continue to read your posts Francis, having been introduced to them, like so many other people and posts, through Hasan. I'm still struggling to process this, having found out yesterday. I'm beginning to understand how important he was to me and to so many others.

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  8. Thank you Frank for the beautiful tribute. I am Hasan's sister, Hasret. I only wish you were able to meet him in person, he had a beautiful nature and a great sense of warmth. Anyone that met and knew him, loved him. He was intelligent, pure and kind, unlike anyone I have ever met.

    I know that he is watching over us, and completely honoured. Thank you.

    Hasret

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    1. Hasret and Metin:

      Thank you for getting in touch with me in the midst of your suffering. My heart goes out to you and to your mother. It may be a small consolation for you and her to know that the outpouring of grief for Hasan has been tremendous and world-wide.

      Frank

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  9. Glennis:

    I think most of us became acquainted through Hasan and 3PP. In a way he was the sun that our fledgling blog community revolved about. Without him we will all have to work harder to keep in touch and share our ideas. Thanks for writing.

    Frank

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