Bellini’s iconic Ottoman sultan portrait opens for public visit
A portrait of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, which was bought by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in June, has been put on display for the public with the participation of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the city’s mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu.
The portrait of the sultan, also known as Mehmet the Conqueror for his conquest of the city from the Byzantine Empire in 1453, was bought at an auction at Christie’s in London.
CHP Istanbul provincial Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu, İYİ (Good) Party istanbul Provincial Chair Buğra Kavuncu, former Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay and some former ministers and deputies were also present at the ceremony.
Examining the painting at the temporary exhibition hall of the presidential building in Istanbul’s Saraçhane quarter, Kılıçdaroğlu thanked those who contributed to bringing the work to the country, especially İmamoğlu.
“An Italian painter reflected a person who conquered and ruled that city onto a canvas. Actually that painting is the right of this land. Therefore, it’s a painting that suits Istanbul and the world,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The portrait of Mehmed II was made by Italian painter Gentile Bellini in 1480.
Speaking after Kılıçdaroğlu, İmamoğlu noted that Mehmed II made Istanbul one of the most precious treasures of humanity with his mind, foresight, justice and tolerance.
He also stated that a storage area in the municipality building was created in order to protect the work from environmental conditions and to ensure its safety.
The exhibition will be open to visit for three months starting from tomorrow.