J. Pavlikevitch (Russian, 20th Century)

Street Vendors

inscribed, dated and signed 'Stanboul 919/Pavl...' (lower left)
watercolour over pencil
43.5 x 27 cm (17 x 10½ in)

Street Vendors is a delightful watercolour, where Pavlikevitch captures a local street market in Istanbul. Under several umbrellas, vendors selling a variety of wares have set up their stalls. On the right-hand side a stall selling fresh produce, presumably watermelons stacked high, receives attention from a couple of interested customers. An upturned circular basket is placed in front of the stall, possibly containing the dried fruits, nuts or spices so commonly found in Turkish markets.

In the foreground on the left, a discussion is occurring between two men at another stall. While holding his purchases, the customer gestures towards the vendor as if haggling or disputing the amount quoted. Nearby, another man looks on with guarded interest. The produce of the vendor is unclear, though it may be long strands of dried spices. The background is dominated by two opposing cupolas, and the single minaret suggests that this market fronts the local mosque. The nature of the market as a place for social interaction is clear in Street Vendors from the various clusters of local people and shoppers scattered around the area.