Jean Baptiste Vanmour: The Meal in Honour of Ambassador Cornelis Calkoen (1727 - 1730)


(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A painting by the Flemish artist Jean Baptiste Vanmour (1671 – 1737). this painting is also from his set of 'Turkish paintings'. Made for the Dutch ambassador Cornelis Calkoen (1696-1764), the about 60 paintings show various portraits of Ottoman officials, every day life in the Ottoman empire and several official meetings. This one concerns the ceremony regarding the presentation of the letter of credence of Calkoen to the the sultan Ahmed III. Part of the ceremony was attending a meeting and a meal with the Grand Vizier the (prime minister of the Ottoman sultan),on behalf of the sultan which is shown on this painting. Grand vizier Nevşehirli Damat Ibrahim Pasha (1666 – 1730) is sitting in the center with the with/ black clothing and various other Ottoman officials. Sitting opposite of the grand vizier is the Dutch ambassador Cornelis Calkoen and the members of his groups. Notice how all the foreigners are sitting lower then their Ottoman counterpart. the small window at the top is called 'the eye of the sultan' - the sultan used this window to eavesdrop on the people below. Painting from 1727-1730.


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