A salute to Hasan Niyazi, art history blogger

Hasan Niyazi, art history blogger and author of the Three Pipe Problem blog, passed away prematurely. We remember him with this post.

I learned only today (unfortunately late), through a post by Sergio Momesso of Art Histories, of the untimely death of Hasan Niyazi, one of the most followed art history bloggers on the net. Hasan Niyazi was the author of Three Pipe Problem(www.3pipe.net), a blog that stands out for the high quality of its articles, its aesthetic elegance, its ease of navigation, its ability to arouse interest among visitors by spurring them to comment, and the fact that its author always had an answer for anyone who commented-a quality, the latter, which is no small thing. The thing that most “intrigues” me about Hasan lies in the fact that this Australian aesthete and “independent researcher” (independent researcher, as he liked to call himself) of Turkish Cypriot descent, did not come from a traditional art-historical background, but had a totally different background: in this case, his background was in the clinical sciences. And this aspect of him constitutes a source of inspiration for me, since I also talk about art while having a cultural and educational background that has little to do with art.

Hasan Niyazi

I’ll be honest: I certainly wasn’t an avid reader of Three Pipe Problem, since I would log on from time to time to see if there was anything new. And on a couple of occasions I even had a chance to converse with Hasan, again on his blog (and now I regret that I was not able to delve into this discussion as deeply as I would have liked). What is certain, however, is that Hasan should be held up as an example by all of us who write about art history on the Web, because with his blog he has shown that it is absolutely possible to talk about art on the Internet to a wide audience, using clear language while leaning on rigorous studies, while also creating the stimulus for lively discussions to take place, all without losing sight of that refinement, in the way he writes and in the way he presents himself, that makes the work of study and dissemination all the more appreciable.

We will remember him for all these qualities and abilities, as well as for his great love of the art of Raphael, his favorite artist, to whom he dedicated the Open Raphael website, an "independent project encompassing the complete history and work of Raphael Sanzio and his school," as Hasan himself put it. The project was scheduled for completion in June 2015: now, after the sad news of its passionate founder’s passing, who knows if Open Raphael can be completed or will remain unfinished. However in its current state, with a large number of paintings endowed with their own reasoned record, Open Raphael still stands as a very high example of the web being used for noble purposes (starting with the educational one) and made available to all, since it is a free project.

We at Windows on Art just want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to Hasan for all that he has given to the world of art history, knowing that his work will not be curbed by his passing: just being an example for us and for those who write about art history on the web, is the clearest testimony to the fact that Hasan will still make his presence felt, a fundamental presence for all “art history bloggers.”

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