Baku, November 21, AZERTAC
Painter Chingiz Mehbaliyev presented his new painting on historical subject to the society. His picture called “Construction of Shollar water-pipe” is made on canvas with oil paint.
In the painting artist depicted William Heerlein Lindley (on the left) civil engineer who executed the construction of Shollar water pipe, entrepreneur and philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev (in the center), and translator (on the right). In the painting, all three review the Shollar water pipe project. It seems like; the assistant has translated the words of William Heerlein Lindley to Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev and is waiting for the response of the second. Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev depicted as being in deep thinking and in a process of decision-making.
The artist said the below mentioned words on how he came up with the idea of the painting: “When I was in search of Shollar water in Baku or in Sumgayit, I came into conclusion that it is not possible to find pure Shollar water in these cities. My failure in this adventure inspired me to think in this subject. After long thinking and research, I came into conclusion that I should pay tribute to Azerbaijani philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev and English engineer William Lindley by creating painting depicting their efforts and irreplaceable work. With such ambitions I started to conduct a research on sketches, historical photos and articles.”
Chingiz Mehbaliyev added about history of the picture: “William Lindley is a proud member of Lindley family who played a vital role in technological development on a global scale. Father and son Lindleys executed numerous important works by constructing 35 water pipes and sewage systems all over Europe.
Professor Ryszard Zelichowski who is an author of the 450-page biography of William Lindley wrote an article called “How Baku Got Its Water - The British Link - William H. Lindley”. In his article Prof. Ryszard Zelichowski refers to article entitled, "Water for a Great Oil City: Building the Longest Conduit in Europe" which published in London in 1912. William Lindley himself described Shollar project as "one of the most challenging projects he had ever undertook in his entire life."
It is important to mention that despite World War I, the outbursts of cholera in Baku several times, the revolution in Russia in 1917, numerous accusation to the address of William Lindley and other difficulties, the project started in 1899 finally concluded in 1917 with success.
Chingiz Mehbaliyev describes post-construction period as following: “For his efforts William Lindley granted as an honorary citizen of Baku. “Zaqafqaziya” railway premises granted him with lifelong ticket because they started to use Shollar water in their plants.
William Lindley left Baku in 1917 and Azerbaijan received sad news on his death in March 1918. Baku City Duma remembered his memory with one minute silence. Me, from my side as an Azerbaijani citizen who drinks shollar water pay tribute to his memory with the language of art and thank him for his efforts. I dedicate this picture to 100 anniversary of the construction of Shollar water pipe. I think, this project was the most important and vital project in the history of Azerbaijan. Regarding to the role of Haji Zeynalabdin Taghizade, I am obliged to say that his philanthropic works done for well-being of Azerbaijani people, also, his efforts for construction of Shollar water-pipe will never be forgotten and he will always live in hearts of Azerbaijani people.”
Consequently, the painting of Chingiz Mehbaliyev is unique part of Azerbaijani art and culture. Although 100 years passed since the construction of the pipe, there is no portrait of W. Lindley in Azerbaijani art treasure. W. Lindley’s efforts along with H. Z. Taghizade still had not been depicted in the face of a painting. Despite the importance of Shollar water pipe for Azerbaijani people, no painting has been made on how this outstanding project has been concluded. Taking into account all the mentioned facts, its correct to say that painting of Chingiz Mehbaliyev shall play an important role for Azerbaijani art and shall be considered being the first painting in this subject.
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