Painter (B. 1841, Istanbul – D. May 5th, 1907, Istanbul). His real name was Ahmet Ali. He was known with his nickname Şeker (Sugar in English) because he had a cheerful and kind-hearted personality. He drew attention with his skill in painting in the Mekteb-i Tıbbiye (Medical School) that he entered in 1855 and he was appointed as the art teaching assistant. He quit the Medical School and enrolled in Military College. With the order of Sultan Abdülaziz, who was a painter like himself, he was sent to Paris for education in art (1864). He enrolled in the Paris Fine Arts School. He worked in the workshops of Gustave Boulanger, who was one of the main representatives of orientalism, and Jean Leon Gerome (he came to Turkey in 1854), who knew about the East very well. His works were accepted to Salon (1869-1870), a state exhibition opened in Paris. After having finished his school (1870) with outstanding success by also winning the Rome award, he was sent to Rome for three months by the school.
After he returned to Istanbul in 1871 he was appointed to Sultanahmet Sanat Mektebi (T. N. Sultanahmet Art School) as an art teacher and he also gave lectures in certain military high schools. In 1873, he also included Turkish artists along with foreign artists in the first art exhibition of Istanbul that was organized in the Art School. This was followed by his second exhibition, which he prepared in Darülfünun (Istanbul University) in 1875. With his works and studies he earned the praise of Abdülaziz and was appointed as the adjutant of the sultan. He was promoted to brigadier rank in 1884 and to lieutenant general rank in 1890. In 1895 he was appointed as the master of ceremonies for foreign guests. With the exhibition he organized, he played a role in bringing the thought of opening a fine arts school in which Turkish painters would be trained to agenda. In 1876, the sultan approved the establishment of such a school; because of the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish war, the school was opened as late as 1882. Ahmet Pasha worked together with Osman Hamdi Bey in the foundation of this school which was called Sanayi-i Nefise Mekteb-i Âlisi (T. N. Fine Arts Academy).
Şeker Ahmet Pasha has a place among the pioneers of Turkish painting that is inclined towards Western art along with Osman Hamdi and Süleyman Seyyit. His works were mostly in landscape and still-life categories. He painted some of the figures he used in some of his landscapes in very small sizes to emphasize the grandeur of nature. His works Tepe Üzerindeki Kale and Talim Yapan Erler, which he had painted before he went to Europe are the products of his naive approach that lacked knowledge of painting. The influence of Courbet to whom he became close to while he was living in Paris, can be clearly seen in his Orman and Geyikli Peyzaj works. When a transition was made from the miniature to oil painting in Turkish art of painting, Şeker Ahmet Pasha provided the following generation an introduction by developing a realistic style that was based on light and shade styling and an understanding of dimensional volume. His works are in certain museums, galleries and collections both abroad and in the country.