Down Istiklal Caddesi, past the Galatasaray Lisesi, you'll find a passage called Odakule on your left. If you walk through it to the other side and take another left, you'll run right into the beautiful Pera Museum, which this month, is home to a most marvellous collection of Marc Chagall etchings, drawings and paintings.
I find so much joy in staring at and absorbing the work of a favourite artist— wondering why this line, this colour, what he or she thought, felt, how their eyes saw. Chagall is one of my top three; the colour, movement and life in his work bring tears to my eyes. There's only one artist who managed to get them rolling down my cheek, and that was Vincent Van Gogh— specifically it was his Wheatfield with Crows. Ever since I stood in front of those waves of cadmium and ochre, that bluest blue, I have struggled to find words to describe the experience. I was fifteen years old, and I felt the world and my world, sway and soar in wheat and wings.
The Chagall exhibit at the Pera consisted mainly of his etchings and drawings, which naturally thrilled me, as I love a good line. There were so many India ink drawings I wanted to get photos of, but with super-reflective glass protecting them and the guard eyeing my camera, I only managed to get these close-ups. Which are pretty fantastic.
I must say I enjoy the Pera's permanent collection quite a bit— there are some lovely oil and watercolour paintings of Ottoman daily life, and a wonderful exhibit of Anatolian weights and compasses. I highly recommend finding and wandering through this little museum, then having lunch at one of the many nearby restaurants in the Tünel area.
Here are some favourite parts of my favourite paintings: