Title: The Sultan's Portrait: Picturing the House of Osman
Author: various contributors
Book condition: Used - Inside book is in Very Good to Like New condition. Spine is very slightly creased.
Cover: Very Good.
Dust Jacket: Very Good. Dust jacket is protected with Mylar cover.
The Sultan’s Portrait ran in the Topkapi Palace from June to September 2000 in rooms specially restored for the purpose thanks to the largesse of Isbank. The 576-page catalogue of the exhibition is indispensable for historians of court portraits in general and the Ottoman dynasty in particular. It contains a magisterial article by, among others, Julian Raby on the early sultans’ portraits and medals. Gulru Necipoglu writes on “The serial portraits of Ottoman Sultans in comparative perspective” and on the portraits of Selim II. The contribution of Filiz Cagman, curator of the Topkapi Palace, is on Nakkash Osman, who produced a series of 12 stylised miniatures of sultans circa 1579, later copied by an artist working in the circle of Veronese. Gunsel Renda writes on the portraits painted on canvas in the last century of the empire. Hans Georg Majer, founder of the group of academics who have been working on the subject since 1993, contributes an article on the 17th-century portraits, from the reign of Mehmed IV to that of Mustafa II. As in some European dynasties, such as the early Austrian Habsburgs, establishing a common dynastic identity was more important than rendering individual likenesses of rulers. The exhibition and catalogue confirm – as do similar portraits of Timurid, Safavid and Mughal rulers – that despite widespread disapproval, there was no formal Islamic interdiction of figural painting. The Sultan’s Portrait also confirms the frequency of artistic as well as diplomatic and commercial contact between the Ottoman Empire and the states of Western Europe. Many other portraits of Ottoman sultans surely await discovery, in European attics and Islamic collections.
Hardcover: 575 pages
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