LONDON, 21 January (BelTA - Anadolu Agensy). - British auction house Sotheby's sold a group of six rare paintings of Ottoman sultans for £1.34 million ($1.83 million) on Thursday.
"The Newbattle Turks” collection is comprised of six paintings of five famous Ottoman rulers: Tamerlane (Timur), founder of the Timurid Empire, and Ottoman monarchs Bayezid I, Mehmed I, Murad II, Bayezid II, and Suleyman the Magnificent.
Benedict Carter, Sotheby's director of Middle East auction sales, told Anadolu Agency: “These were thought to have been brought back probably in the 17th century by the third earl of Lothian, William Carr.”
“Principal among this Ottoman group is the painting of Suleyman the Magnificent – Kanuni Suleyman, the lawgiver – and he's depicted here around the age of 43. It's inscribed here with his age, which is around 1537, 1538, which is at the height of his reign really," Carter added.
“So, it's a sort of iconic image really of Suleyman in the 16th century,” he said.
The portraits are based on the Giovio Series, which was a set of 484 likenesses of rulers, statesmen and other figures of note assembled by 16th-century Italian Renaissance historian and biographer Paolo Giovio (1483-1552), according to the auction note released by Sotheby's.
Giovio built a museum at Lake Como specifically to house the works. They were discovered in an attic in an estate in Scotland, apparently having lied there undisturbed for hundreds of years.