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Audience of a European Ambassador with the Sultan

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Turkey
    City: Ankara
    Place: British Embassy

    This painting is the fourth of a series of four works showing the reception of a European ambassador by the Grand Vizier (the chief minister of the Sultan) and then by the Sultan himself, in Istanbul.

    This work shows the ambassador’s audience with the Sultan, with took place within the Throne Room of the Sultan’s palace. The Sultan is seated on an ornate throne with a canopy, which is reminiscent of a four poster bed. The Grand Vizier stands on his immediate right. To the Sultan’s left, the ambassador is seen with his retinue, all wearing caftans. (See also GAC 3317, 3319, 3318)

  • About the artist
    Antonio Guardi was born in Vienna, but grew up and established his artistic career in Venice. His father Domenico was a painter, as were his younger brothers Nicolò and Francesco. In 1756, he became a founder member of the Venice Accademia. As the eldest son he is likely to have taken over the family studio at the age of 17, when his father died. Between 1730 and the mid 1740s he produced of a number of works for the German Field Marshal of the Venetian armies, Graf Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg. Among these were portraits of members of prominent European families and copies of masterpieces of the Venetian school. A large number of paintings of Turkish subjects were also commissioned by von der Schulenburg.
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  • Details
    Title
    Audience of a European Ambassador with the Sultan
    Date
    c.1740
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 97.50 cm, width: 131.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Trustees of the Wharncliffe Estate, February 1959
    Provenance
    Collection of Edward Wortley Montagu of Wortley Hall near Sheffield; presumably by descent to Lady Bute (Montagu's daughter); by descent to James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, first Baron Wharncliffe (Bute's grandson); purchased from the Trustees of the Wharncliffe Estate (having been formerly on loan) by the Ministry of Works in 1959
    GAC number
    3316