The art history blogging community received an incomprehensible shock this week. Hasan Niyazi, blogger of the splendid 3PipeProblem, died suddenly of an epileptic seizure. He was only 37 years old. I learned of the tragic news via a tweet I saw on Twitter just after I finished my modeling job. Ten minutes later I was sitting on a bus in Jersey, staring out the window, wiping tears from my eyes. A tireless advocate of digital archiving, use of the Internet as an essential tool for art historians, and commitment to excellence in scholarship, Hasan possessed an extraordinary ability to connect people all around the globe. He supported the endeavors of fellow art bloggers, even an artist’s model in NYC. He posted this tweet to me just a few weeks ago and it meant so much.
Hasan made himself known to me by posting a wonderful comment on Museworthy a long time ago, a comment that was both amiable and intelligent. That original comment was the beginning of our online friendship. How he managed to find me amid the countless art blogs on the Web I have no idea, but that was Hasan! And I’m very glad he did. Hasan had great admiration for my work as a model and he expressed it often, something I very much appreciated. While his core group of colleagues were fellow art historians, he still included me in his circle and enjoyed my quirky tales of life on the other side of the canvas and model’s take on art. I was incredibly honored, and pleasantly surprised, to receive an email from him last spring requesting my input for a discussion on art blogging that he was participating in at Melbourne University. It was so very thoughtful of him, and that gesture of respect for my feedback was emblematic of Hasan Niyazi’s appreciation of all voices in the art blogging community.
Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet Hasan in person. But I will forever cherish our warm, enjoyable interactions, not just about art but everything from the effect of wine on a sore throat to Blackie the one-eyed cat who I feed every day on my doorstep. Hasan Niyazi was a gifted art historian, passionate about the Italian Renaissance, a period of art that arguably has no rival and never ceases to elevate the human spirit. Hasan was also an extremely kind, genuine, benevolent, and hospitable human being who expressed himself with intellect, wit, eloquence, and joyful enthusiasm. He will be sorely missed by many, many people.
My art selection to honor Hasan Niyazi is this fresco detail, Cupid and the Three Graces, by his idol the great Raphael:
A lovely tribute to Hasan was posted by Monica Bowen at Alberti’s Window, also Frank at Giorgione blog, Dr. Ben Harvey, and Sedef’s Corner. These tributes and the comments posted speak volumes about how many people were touched by Hasan Niyazi and how deeply his tragic, unexpected passing is felt, even by folks like me who only knew him online.
I want to express my profound condolences to Hasan’s family in their grief. Deaths of loved ones are difficult enough. Sudden deaths are even more shattering. I know this firsthand from my father who died within hours of us speaking on the phone. RIP Hasan. Peaceful journey, beautiful friend.