On the Spot

Panoramic Gaze on Istanbul, a History

October 26, 2023 - March 24, 2024

The exhibition aims to shed new light on the history of Istanbul’s representations through panoramic paintings and photographs. It critically approaches the history of the "panorama" and contextualizes its many iterations. While examining the layered relationships in the production and consumption of panoramic images, the exhibition also explores the circulation of these images among different audiences, their receptions, and the connections between various media that have gained popularity over centuries.

An early 19th-century panorama of Istanbul, previously not published or exhibited, is being unveiled for the first time with the exhibition. As it brings together some of the most remarkable works by artists who captured a panoramic view of Istanbul, such as Barker, Gudenus, Schranz, Melling, Dunn, and Robertson, it also reveals how the panoramic perspective has been used to document different phenomena in Istanbul's history, from fire disasters to industrialization. While concentrating on 19th-century panoramas and panoramic images, On the Spot invites its audience to a comprehensive reconsideration of the long history of the panoramic perspective dating back to the early modern period, and Istanbul's position within this history.

The exhibition On the Spot: Panoramic Gaze on Istanbul, a History portrays the circulation of this representational form in the Ottoman world and Europe through a diverse selection of materials, including ephemera and archival documents in addition to paintings, prints, and photographs, while exploring the fluidity within this diversity and the dialogues between different media.

Curated by Çiğdem Kafescioğlu, K. Mehmet Kentel, and M. Baha Tanman, the exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue containing articles that aim to re-read urban history and histories of architecture, art, photography, and modern consumption, through the frame provided by panoramic images.


Image Credits

Joseph Warnia-Zarzecki
Coffee on the Dolmabahçe Ridges, late 19th century
68 x 98 cm
Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Orientalist Painting Collection

Panorama of Istanbul from the Galata Tower, section, early 19th century
40 x 350 cm
Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Orientalist Painting Collection

Philippe von Gudenus
Vue de la ville de Constantinople, capitale de l’Empire Ottoman (The view of the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire), first part, 1740
44 x 410 cm
Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Istanbul Research Institute Library

Henry Aston Barker
Key to a Series of Eight Views forming a Panorama of the City of Constantinople and its Environs taken from the Tower of Galata, 1813
32 x 32 cm
British Library


Exhibition Catalogue

On the Spot

On the Spot

The exhibition On the Spot: Panoramic Gaze on Istanbul, a History takes the allure and amazement of the 360-degree urban image as its starting point and moves on to historicize the power of this panoramic eff­ect.

Pera Learning

Midterm Break Workshops

For the midterm break, fun workshops create an opportunity for students and teachers to spend the holiday with art.

Beyond the Landscape

The parallel program to On the Spot: Panoramic Gaze on Istanbul, a History offers online and face-to-face fun and inspiring exhibition tours and workshops for different age groups.



Pera Museum’s Cold Front from the Balkans exhibition curated by Ali Akay and Alenka Gregorič brings together contemporary artists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

Artist Nicola Lorini in Conversation

Artist Nicola Lorini in Conversation

Inspired by its Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection, Pera Museum presents a contemporary video installation titled For All the Time, for All the Sad Stones at the gallery that hosts the Collection. The installation by the artist Nicola Lorini takes its starting point from recent events, in particular the calculation of the hypothetical mass of the Internet and the weight lost by the model of the kilogram and its consequent redefinition, and traces a non-linear voyage through the Collection.

Giacometti’s Final Works

Giacometti’s Final Works

Giacometti was selected for three important retrospectives at the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery in London and the Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, all of which were a great success.