Medal: Sultan Süleyman I

Northern Italian

Not on view

The obverse presents a portrait of the Turkish Sultan Süleyman I, “the Magnificent” (1496–1566). The reverse has been turned down on the lathe, which is somewhat uncommon; the youthful appearance of the sultan suggests an early date for this medallion. It may date to 1521, at the time of the first invasion of Hungary, or 1529, at the time of Süleyman’s attack on Vienna. The medal is closely related to a print by Monogrammist aa, dated 1526, with a mirror-reversed profile of Süleyman. Two versions of this medal exist, one with an extra swag of drapery at the crown of the turban, and one without. The first version probably provided Titian with the model for his profile portrait of the sultan, as mentioned in a letter of 23 August 1538 by Benedetto Agnello to Duke Federico Gonzaga.

Medal:  Sultan Süleyman I, Bronze (Reddish copper alloy with
traces of a dark wax layer)., Northern Italian

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