Hale Asaf, born in Kadıköy, Istanbul, was the daughter of Chief Justice Salih Bey (the son of Sultan Abdülhamid’s aide-de-camp Asaf Paşa), and Enise Hanım (the daughter of Rasim Paşa, the head of the Medical School). She completed her primary education privately at home, then continuing to Notre Dame de Sion for secondary school. She took her first painting lessons from her aunt Mihri (Müşfik) Hanım in Rome in 1919, and from Namık İsmail in Paris. In 1921, her father sent her to the Berlin Akademie der Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) to begin her formal education, where she studied under Arthur Kampf. In 1924 she returned to Turkey. She attended Feyhaman Duran’s studio at the Academy of Fine Arts for Women. When the school merged with the Academy of Fine Arts, she studied under İbrahim Çallı. After graduating in 1925, she passed the scholarship examination to study in Europe and went to Munich, briefly working with Lovis Corinth. In 1927 she enrolled at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, studying under André Lhote. She returned to Turkey in 1928, and became a painting instructor at the Bursa Teacher Training School for Girls. In 1929, she became the only female founding member of the Association of Independent Painters and Sculptors and took part in the exhibitions they held between 1929 and 1931. The same year, she began to work alongside Namık İsmail at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts. In 1930, she showed her work at the Montparnasse Summer Exhibition in Paris. In 1932 she settled in the city, and participated in an exhibition at the gallery and bookstore Jeune Europe. She regularly participated in exhibitions at the Salon des Tuileries between 1933 and 1938. In 1936 her works were shown in the Exhibition of Turkish Art in Bucharest.
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