Ahmed Ziya Akbulut
Ahmed Ziya Akbulut was born in Fatih, in Istanbul. After studying at the Kuleli Military Senior High School, he graduated from the Ottoman Military College in 1889. He first took a teaching position at the Edirne Military High School; then, he was reassigned to Istanbul, taking posts at several schools where he taught mathematics, geometry, perspective, French, and astronomy. Between 1890-1894, he worked on revising the collection of military maps belonging to the Second Army Staff. In 1892, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts as a student in the painting department. He worked as an assistant in his instructor Osman Nuri Paşa’s class and attended Hoca Ali Rıza’s painting studio. His graduation painting of 1897, titled The Solderer, is a single-figure composition. Ahmed Ziya Akbulut was a mathematician, astronomer, and accomplished bookbinder, and he took calligraphy lessons from the renowned calligrapher Hacı Sami Efendi between 1898-1912. In 1914, he began teaching mathematics and perspective at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1919, he was appointed deputy director of the Kandilli Observatory. He took lessons in astrology from the last Ottoman chief astrologer, Hüseyin Hilmi Efendi, and in 1920 he became a time-setter at the time-setter lodge in the Eyüp Sultan Mosque. In 1924, he was appointed as the director of the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. In his books titled Amel-i Menâzır (Perspective) and Usul-ı Ameliye-i Fenn-i Menâzır (Applied Perspective), he discussed the use of perspective in painting, combining his artistic capabilities with his interest in mathematics. These two works were later used as textbooks at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Military College. After retiring, Akbulut continued teaching perspective at the Academy of Fine Arts and wrote nearly twenty books on astronomy, mathematics, perspective, and the calendar.
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