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Extract

... And a magnificent Süleyman

A newly discovered 16th-century painting of Süleyman the Magnificent, due to be sold by Sotheby’s London this spring, is arguably the most ‘immediate’ portrait of him until the last years of his life. This is Süleyman in his pomp

Just over 50 years after Gentile Bellini produced what has now become the iconic image of Mehmed the Conqueror, another set of exchanges between the Serenissima and the Sublime Porte led to the canonical image of his descendant Süleyman the Magnificent in his middle years.

A newly found version of this likeness shows Süleyman The Lawgiver – “Kanuni Süleyman”, as Turks know him (1494–1566) – allegedly at the age of 43. This was about the time he conquered Iraq from the Safavids of Iran and roundly defeated the fleet assembled by the Pope and his allies at the Battle of Preveza…

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