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Dinner at the Palace in Honour of an Ambassador

Jean Baptiste Vanmour1700/1750

Pera Museum

Pera Museum

This painting depicts the dinner given by the Grand Vizier in honour of an ambassadorial delegation, before its official reception at the Sultan’s Throne Room (Arz Odası). During such dinners held at the Kubbealtı hall, where the Imperial Council of State (Divan-ı Hümayun) also met, the ambassador with dragoman on either side would sit around the same table. The other members of the delegation would sit together with other Ottoman dignitaries. The Anatolian and Rumeli kazasker (supreme judiciary authorities), who have been depicted side by side to the right of the ambassadorial circle at the centre of the painting, would not sit together with the foreigners. In the foreground, the kapıcılar kethüdası with his staff, who is overseeing the provision of food, is visible together with other servants.

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