w A Closer Look - The Arts of Islam - Abstract Design
Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide Arts of the Islamic World
IntroductioncalligraphyAbstract DesignArts of the Bookpage 1page 2page 3The Art of the Object

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After defeating the Byzantines and establishing Istanbul as the new capital of the Ottoman empire, Mehmet II (reigned 1451–81) invited a number of Italian painters, including Gentile Bellini (ca. 1429–1507) and Constanzo da Ferrara (ca. 1450–after 1524), to work at his court. This remarkable portrait is based on a composition attributed to Ferrara, now in the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston. Notable for its sensitive modeling and fine details, the painting represents one of the earliest portraits of a painter from the Ottoman world.
Portrait of a painter
Turkey, late 15th century
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
18.8 x 12.7 cm
Purchase F1932.28

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