Ottoman Sultan’s portraits go to auction in UK
Rare portraits of Ottoman Sultans will be presented to collectors’ interest on Oct. 28 in London.
The series, which consists of portraits of Orhan Gazi, Bayezid, Mehmed I, Selim I, Selim II and Şehzade (Prince) İsa Çelebi, is valued between 800,000 and 1.2 million British pounds.
Believed to have been made around the 1600s, the paintings were copied from the original set drawn with the encouragement of the Ottoman Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha in 1578.
According to some records, the Grand Vizier asked Venice’s resident ambassador in Istanbul, Niccolò Barbarigo, for portraits of Ottoman sultans he heard were in Venice.
Later, the Venetian Senate ﬁnally commissioned duplicates of these portraits, writing in 1579 that they were being prepared, and conﬁrming later that they had been shipped to Istanbul.
“Each painting exhibits a characterization and individuality that distinguish these paintings from any other Ottoman imperial portraits, reﬂecting Paolo Veronese’s well-known gift for imbuing life and vivacity to his ﬁgures,” according to a statement released by Christie’s, the auction house.
Although it is considered that the portraits were made by or under the guidance of Veronese, an Italian Renaissance painter based in Venice, due to their style, but none of them have his signature.