Paintings of Ottoman sultan at Stockholm museum

Paintings of Ottoman sultan at Stockholm museum

STOCKHOLM – Anadolu Agency
Paintings of Ottoman sultan at Stockholm museum

17th-century paintings illustrating a hunting expedition undertaken by the nineteenth Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV are on display in a museum in the Swedish capital Stockholm. 

The Twenty oil paintings of the hunting expedition of the Ottoman Sultan, known as Mehmed the Hunter, showing his passion for hunting in 1657, are among the most popular works of the Nordiska Museum in Stockholm, according to the Nordiska Museum Director Ulla Karin Warberg. 

Warberg said the paintings were done by Claes Ralamb, who was sent as a Swedish Ambassador to Istanbul in 1657 by King Charles X Gustav of Sweden

“The paintings are invaluable in terms of reflecting the culture between the two countries,” Warberg said. 

Noting that 15 out of the 20 oil paintings belong to the Claes Ralamb family, she added: “We have agreed that they will be exhibited indefinitely in the museum.” 

The other five paintings were purchased at an auction in 1988, said Warberg. 

Warberg said the paintings had a fascinating story to tell. “Ralamb visited the sultan in order to secure the Ottoman state’s support in the event of a possible Russian attack. But since the Swedish kingdom had economic problems, he was unable to offer a present to the sultan. Shortly before meeting with the Ottoman sultan, he made a big mistake by asking British and French diplomats for support. After hearing this news, the sultan got angry and banned Ralamb from leaving Istanbul. Ralamb’s request to see the sultan was refused many times. He finally got the chance to meet him during one of his hunting expeditions. During this meeting, he hired a person to draw the hunting scene. When Ralamb returned to Sweden in 1658, he painted these drawings. Nobody knows who made the initial drawings.” 

Warberg said the paintings depicted Sultan Mehmed IV’s hunting trip in Edirne in the spring of 1657, with a huge crowd in attendance. A research committee formed in 2003 for the paintings and the commission revealed that the paintings were painted in Sweden. 

The dimension of the paintings varies between 122 centimeter to 133 and 203 centimeters, she said, adding that the paintings were exhibited in Turkey in 2006.