Portrait of a Painter

Historical period(s)
Ottoman period, Probably reign of Mehmet II, late 15th century
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W (overall): 28.7 x 18.8 cm (11 5/16 x 7 3/8 in)
Turkey, Probably Istanbul
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Ottoman period (1307 - 1922), portrait, Turkey

Jacques Doucet, Paris [1]

Parish-Watson Company, New York 1932 [2]

From 1932
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Parish-Watson Company, New York in 1932 [3]


[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note.

[2] Object file, undated folder sheet note. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[3] See note 2.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Parish-Watson Company
Jacques Doucet 1853-1929


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 Costanzo da Ferrara (ca. 1450–after 1524), to work at his court.  This portrait is based on a composition attributed to Ferrara, now in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  Notable for its fine details and sensitive modeling, the Ottoman version has been erroneously ascribed to the fifteenth-century Persian painter Bihzad.

Published References
  • Richard Yeomans. The Art and Architecture of Ottoman Istanbul. .
  • Sekai bijutsu zenshu [A Complete Collection of World Art]. 40 vols., Tokyo, 1960-1966. vol. 22: fig. 65.
  • Philipp Walter Schulz. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei: Ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte Irans. 2 vols, Leipzig. vol. 1: p. 118.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre. Eine Miniature Gentile Bellinis gemalt 1479-1480 in Konstantinopel. vol. 27, no. 4 Berlin, October 1906. .
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre, Fredrik Robert Martin. Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in Muchen, 1910. 3 vols., Munich. vol. 1, pl. 27.
  • Franz Rosenthal. Four Essays on Art and Literature in Islam. The L.A. Mayer Memorial Studies in Islamic Art and Archaeology, vol. 2 London. pl. 19.
  • Gerald MacLean. Re-Orienting the Renaissance: Cultural Exchanges with the East. Basingstoke, United Kingdom. front cover.
  • Richard Ettinghausen, Ernst Kuhnel. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. 6 vols., London and New York, 1938 - 1939. vol. 1: pp. 4, vol. 5: pl. 690.
  • Orhan Pamuk. Ik heet Karmozijn [My Name is Red]. Amsterdam. front cover.
  • Fredrik Robert Martin. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India, and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th Century. 2 vols., London. vol. 1: pp. 91, 92, vol. 2: pl. 225.
  • Georges Marteau, Henri Vever. Miniatures Persanes: tirees des collections de M.M. Henry d'Allemagne, Claude Anet, Henri Aubrey... 2 vols., Paris, June-October 1912. vol. 1: pl. 9.
  • Galerie Georges Petit. Collection Jacques Doucet: Ceramiques d'Extreme-Orient, Peintures Chinoises et Japonaises; Faiences de La Perse, de la Transcaspie et de la M'esopotamie, Miniatures Persanes. Paris, 1930. pl. 30.
  • James Randolph. Freer Gallery Houses Fabulous Art. vol. 7, no. 79 Tokyo and Sydney, July 1956. front cover.
  • Ernst Diez. Iranische Kunst. Vienna. vol. 2: opp. p. 65.
  • Jerry Brotton. The Renaissance Bazaar from the Silk Road to Michelangelo. Oxford. fig. 8.
  • Laurence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson, Basil Gray. Persian Miniature Painting: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March 1931. Exh. cat. Oxford, January - March 1931. pl. 80A.
  • Aube Lebel. Moi, Iskandar, calligraphe de Soliman. Paris. cover, pp.5-6,33.
  • Antonio Garcia Jaen. Arte y Artistas Musulmanes. Madrid. p. 1 verso.
  • Fredrik Robert Martin. New Originals and Oriental Copies of Gentile Bellini Found in the East. vol. 17, no. 85 London, April 1910. pp. 2, 5-7.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Turkish Art of the Ottoman Period. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 3, p. 12.
  • Rosamond E. Mack, Berrin Torolsan. Portfolio: A Bellini For The Sultan. no. 54 Edinburgh. p. 25.
  • Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. Exh. cat. London. p. 41.
  • Mohammed Mostafa. Darstellung des taglichen Lebens in der islamischen Kunst. vol. 2 Vienna. p. 46, fig. 47.
  • Abdelwahab Meddeb. Occident Visto desde Orient. Exh. cat. Barcelona. p. 51.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Islamic Art in the Freer Gallery. vol. 3, no. 3, Autumn 1985. p. 58, fig. 3.
  • Armenag Sakisian. La Miniature Persane du XIIe au XVIIe siecle: Ouvrage accompagne de la reproduction de 193 miniatures dont deux en couleurs. Paris and Brussels. p. 79, pl. 55.
  • Emine Fetvaci. The Album of the World Emperor: Cross-Cultural Collecting and the Art of Album-Making in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul. Princeton, January 7, 2020. p. 85, fig. 32.
  • Armenag Sakisian. Djem Sultan et les fresques de Pinturicchio. Paris, February 1925. p. 85.
  • Ottoman Miniature Painting Under Sultan Mehmed II. vol. 9 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 115-119, pl. 11, fig. 25.
  • Bihzad Memoirs III, Congres International d’art et d’archeologie Iraniens, 1930. Leningrad and Moscow. p. 117.
  • Caroline Campbell, Alan Chong. Bellini and the East. Exh. cat. New Haven. p. 125.
  • Olympiada Galerkina. On Some Miniatures Attributed to Bihzad from Leningrad Collections. vol. 8 Washington and Ann Arbor. p. 128, pl. 11, fig. 21.
  • John Rupert Martin. A Portrait by Gentile Bellini Found in Constantinople. vol. 9, no. 39 London, June 1906. pp. 144, 148-149.
  • Turkish Art. Washington and New York. frontispiece, pp. 148, 157, fig. 67.
  • Kurt Blauensteiner. Die internationale Ausstellung persischer Kunst in London. Monatsscrift fur Sammler und Kunstfreunde, vol. 10 Vienna, Leipzig und Zürich. p. 166, no. 69.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Ottoman Art at the Freer Gallery of Art. no. 4 Istanbul, 1970-1971. pp. 187, 192-193, pl. 2.
  • David Talbot Rice. Islamic Art. The World of Art, rev. ed. New York and Toronto, 1965-1975. pp. 225-226, 279, fig. 226.
  • Islamic Art and Patronage: Treasures from Kuwait. Exh. cat. New York. pp. 227, 230, fig. 30.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre. The Miniature by Gentile Bellini Found in Constantinople Not a Portrait of Sultan Djem. vol. 15, no. 76 London, June 1909. pp. 237-238.
  • Rene Grousset. The Civilizations of the East. 4 vols., New York and London, 1931-1934. p. 273, fig. 202.
  • Phaidon Editors. 30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity Across Time and Space. New York. p. 371.
  • Larry Ball. 30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity Across Time and Space. London and New York, 2007. p. 718.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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