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Turkish Men and Women (Costume Illustrations of the Court of the Ottoman Empire) (Set of fourteen frames each with five plates)

Jean-Baptist Vanmour (Valenciennes 1671–Constantinople 1737)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1699 - 1737

Materials

Oil on copper

Measurements

330 x 241 mm (13 x 9½ in) each in fourteen silvered wooden frames, containing five plates, with vertically mounted partitions and glazing, 1740 x 267 mm (68½ x 10½ in)

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Collection

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

NT 803040

Summary

A set of 70 oil paintings on copper, 'Turkish Men and Women (Costume Illustrations of the Court of the Ottoman Empire)' by Jean-Baptiste Vanmour (1671-1737), circa 1699/1737. Mounted vertically in sets of five, in glazed and partitioned wood frames an inscription on each plate, bottom right which was probably added later.

Full description

Engraved by M. Le Hay (1714) and published by Marquis Charles de Ferriol (1652–1722). The originals, painted in 1707–8 for Marquis Charles de Ferriol, Ambassador for Louis XIV, King of France to the Sublime Porte between 1700 and 1710, engraved by various engravers in 1712 and 1713, and published first by Jacques Le Hay in those years, then together by Laurent Cars in 1714, and again, with texts and three plates added, in 1715, appear to be lost; other sets or individual pictures were painted for subsequent French ambassadors and those of other nations, notably for Cornelis Calkoen (1696–1764), Ambassador of the Dutch Republic from 1725 to 1743 (Rijksmuseum A2013–A2052: All the Paintings of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, 1976, pp.741–49; exh. cat), and the Swedish Ambassador, Gustaf Celsing (private collection, Slot Biby, Sweden [43 pictures]. For colour illustrations of a variety of these, see the re-edition of Auguste Boppe’s Les Peintres du Bosphore au XVIIIe siècle, Courbervoie, 1989, pp.20–24, 38, 44 & 46–48). The revived vogue for Orientalism in the 19th century appears to have inspired others as well as Lord Hertford (Richard Seymour Conway, 4th Marquess) to have sets of copies made, eg. the nine auctioned at Christie’s, New York, 26 January 2005, lot 70; and the eight auctioned at Sotheby’s, London, 27 April 2006, lot 116. Individual originals and copies regularly appear on the market. See also exh. cat. Topkapi à Versailles, Musée national du château de Versailles, 1999, no.69, for the Dignitaire noir acquired by Patrick Ramade for the Musée des Beaux-Arts of the artist’s native Valenciennes in 1996. A set of hand coloured prints was exhibited at Robin Symes Ltd., (Costumes of the Ottoman Empire) London, 18th June – 13th July 1984.

Provenance

Marie-Gabriel-Florent-Auguste Choiseul-Gouffier (1751 - 1817), at whose posthumous sale bought by Bezard; Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford (1800–1870) [but not listed by Ingamells in any of the Appendix IVs to his four-volume Catalogue of Pictures in the Wallace Collection, detailing those no longer in the Collection that are to be found in inventories of Hertford House, Bagatelle, and the rue Lafitte], according to the catalogue of Lady Sackville’s sale, 40 Sussex Square, Brighton, 25 June 1923ff., lot 443 (then 95 of them, in 19 silvered wood frames) [they must, therefore have been winkled by Victoria, Lady Sackville (1862–1936) out of ‘Seery’, Sir John Murray Scott (1847–1912), or in his bequest to her of everything that he had inherited from Lady Wallace (1819–1897) {some bought or not?}]; thence, by inheritance, to her daughter, Vita Sackville-West (1892–1962), Sissinghurst, and then to her younger son, Nigel Nicolson (1917–2004) [one frame of five was given away as a wedding present to Diana Crawford when she married Nicholas Baring in 1969 - 30/25 remain missing, ?nine at Christie's, New York, 26 Januray 2005, lot 70 and eight at Sotheby's London, 27 April 2007, lot 116], and to his son, Adam Nicolson (b. 1957) by whom given to the National Trust.

Credit line

Sissinghurst Castle, The Nicolson Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

Jean-Baptist Vanmour (Valenciennes 1671–Constantinople 1737) , artist

References

Boppe 1911 Auguste Boppe, Les Peintres de Bosphore au XVIIIe siècle, 1911 (re-edition, ed. by Catherine Boppe-Vigne and Tristan Florenne, 1989), p.295

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