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Mehmet the Conqueror and Constantinople: A Portrait of Youth and Ambition
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Mehmet the Conqueror and Constantinople: A Portrait of Youth and Ambition

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Hardback

240 X 216mm

Colour Illustations

96pp

 

The Ottomans were one of several Muslim tribes on the frontiers of the Islamic world, emerging in the early 1300s. Territorial success over the following century would be bolstered by the accession, in 1444, of the ambitious, teenaged sultan, Mehmet II (1432-1481). His conquest of Constantinople, less than a decade later, brought global influence for the Ottomans and universal recognition to Mehmet.

Despite a widely published legacy of portraits, commissioned from various artists in later life, no physical record of the sultan as a young man was believed to exist. A recently discovered bronze portrait relief now provides such evidence, upon which Mehmet, self-styled in Latin as Great Prince, defines his historical consciousness as heir to Constantinople. 

Aesthetically attuned and with far-reaching vision of empire, Mehmet would continue to secure his place in the pantheon of fame, whether on the field of battle or in the hands of an artist.

Youthful ideology remains an ever-present feature of the political landscape, but its manner of expression, as preserved on this bronze relief, six centuries earlier, throws remarkable light on an episode that would change the geo-political landscape of the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.


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