• Portrait of Roxelana -

    Half-length, wearing an elaborate head-dress


    inscribed on old backboard: Roxelana/Wife of Solymon/?The Magnificent?/1528-1566/She was of Russian/origin

    watercolour over pencil on laid paper watermarked with Britannia, oval

    13.2 by 9.9cm., 5 by 3 3/4 inches


    Roxelana or H?rrem as she is known in Turkish, was born in Poland and captured as a slave by Crimean Tatars. She was taken to Istanbul where she was selected for the harem of Sultan S?leyman (1494-1566). She soon became a favorite of the Sultan and bore him five children. Her influence over him soon became legendary and in a break from tradition, she was freed from slavehood and became his legal wife. Her son Selim inherited the Sultan?s empire. She died in 1558, eight years before her husband.

Thumbnail panels:
Now Loading