An ambassador would arrive at the Throne Room (Arz Odası) at the entrance of the Third Courtyard of the Topkapı Palace, escorted by two chief doormen and would be received officially by the sultan, to whom he would present his gifts and his itimatname. During the ceremony, the ambassador would wear a hilat (a fur lined silk kaftan), while those in his retinue would wear similar but simpler kaftans; a vizier would first present the letter, which he had received from the ambassador, to the Grand Vizier and then the Grand Vizier would put this letter on a cushion near the sultan. All this would be followed by speeches of mutual good will and the ambassador would leave the reception, bowing and moving backwards. The ambassador, whom we can surmise from his costume and physiognomy to be the Venetian Bailo Francesco Gritti, who served in Istanbul between 1723 and 1726, is depicted in this painting with a hilat worn over his bailo costume which is also seen in other paintings of the series in the exhibition. The signature of the artist is on the bottom left corner of the painting: Vanmour pinxit.


  • Title: Sultan Ahmet III Receiving a European Ambassador
  • Creator: Jean Baptiste Vanmour
  • Date: 1700/1750
  • Physical Location: Pera Museum
  • Physical Dimensions: w1210 x h900 cm
  • Type: oil on canvas
  • Rights: Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Collection, Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation
  • External Link: Orientalist Paintings Collection
  • Pera Museum: Orientalist Paintings Collection

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