Cevat Dereli, son of the judge Hamit Bey, was born in Istanbul. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1915, first attending the preparatory grade under Hikmet Onat, then studying in İbrahim Çallı’s studio from 1916 onwards. He began participating in the Galatasaray Exhibitions while he was still a student, and founded the New Society of Painting with a group of friends in 1922-1923. Graduating in 1924, he passed the scholarship examination to study in Europe and was sent to Paris by the Ministry of Education. There, from 1925 to 1927, he attended Paul-Albert Laurens’s studio at the Académie Julian. He returned from Paris in 1928, and the same year he began to work as an assistant in Nazmi Ziya Güran’s studio at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1929, he became one of the founding members of the Association of Independent Painters and Sculptors. He was forced to leave his position at the Academy in 1932, and worked as an anatomical illustrator in the Faculty of Medicine until 1939. In 1939 he returned to the Academy, working as an assistant in İbrahim Çallı’s studio. Following İbrahim Çallı’s retirement in 1947, Cevat Dereli succeeded him as head of the studio. He took part in the Turkish Painters Collective Exhibition in Rome in 1960, and his painting titled The Apple Pickers was shown in the Guggenheim group exhibition in the USA in 1961. Between 1963-1964, he participated in exhibitions held in cultural metropolises such as Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, Munich, and Tehran. He continued to teach at the Academy until retiring in 1967. He opened his first solo exhibition in 1970. Cevat Dereli received the Atatürk Art Award at the exhibition organised by the Ministry of Culture in 1981, commemorating the centenary of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s birth.
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