Mehmed II 'the Conqueror' sniffs a flower to show off his refined aesthetic sensibilities... and clutches the fabric of his garment in the way he clutches at the edges of his empire. On one bejewelled hand, elegantly poised fingers clamp a rose; the other is a fist grip from which nothing escapes…
The hands, the nose, the pursed lips say it all. But the eyes really have it - where, exactly, is he looking? Constantinople? Serbia? Bosnia? Trebizond? Moldavia? Albania? Is his thinking of one or more of his 5 wives? Or possibly he’s thinking of… Venice and the Renaissance painters who also painted his portrait in oils?
I love a good despot
It reminds me of qualities I should avoid cultivating in my own life
Let’s explore this intriguing and famous portrait together!