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Vanmour and the Guardis, by Jean Michel Casa. An exhibition at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, on Jean-Baptiste Vanmour perhaps the earliest Orientalist painter.
In 1699 when the Marquis Charles de Ferriol d’Argental was appointed French ambassador to the Ottoman court by Louis XIV, he took in his entourage a little-known artist from Valenciennes to paint the costumes and customs of the Ottoman capital and to record his mission. The marquis returned to France in 1711, but Jean-Baptiste Van Mour stayed on in Istanbul, assuming the honorary title of peintre ordinaire du Roi en Levant and serving each of de Ferriol’s successors at the Palais de France until his death in 1737.
The former embassies of Ottoman Istanbul have more of a consular role today but they still evoke the diplomatic rituals of their nineteenth century heyday. In the first of two articles Patricia Daunt traces the history of these spectacular winter palaces, and Fritz von der Schulenburg assembles a unique photographic record of the treasures they contain.
In 1983 Fani-Maria Tsigakou of the Benaki Museum in Athens found five volumes of late 18th-century drawings of Ottoman Empire subjects by Thomas Hope. David Watkin assesses Hope’s orientalism and its place in the development of Regency style.
Long enjoyed for their succulence and their inner beauty, pomegranates have been credited with uplifting properties. Berrin Torolsan presents a selection of recipes using these fascinating jewelled winter fruits
Turkey’s Sultan Marshes are a veritable magnet for countless flamingos, teals and other winged visitors, all of them enriching these wetlands with colour and sound. Chris Hellier moves in for a closer look
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