titled, signed & dated 19 aprile 1855 / Preziosi and indistinctly dedicated on page one, the majority of the drawings inscribed and dated
pencil on paper
On the 19 April 1855 Count Amadeo Preziosi set sail from Constantinople on the Messageries Impériales mail steamer Le Caire. The journey would take him around the Mediterranean to Marseilles via Gallipoli, Smyrna, Syra, Malta, Messina, Naples and Livorno, and onwards to Paris, Boulogne and thence London, returning via Corsica, Sancakkale, Smyrna and Tenedos (the final dated drawing, of 13 July). The album is characterised by the artist's spontaneity and versatility, from a portrait of a man in Smyrna wearing a turban and holding prayer beads to the topographical view of the city, and from the French Zouave soldiers aboard the Caire to a view of the bay of Naples with Vesuvius.
A native of Malta, Preziosi first visited Istanbul in 1842, and depicting the city and its people in their distinctive costumes and attitudes was to be the focus for his artistic career thereafter. In the 1850s he worked for the Illustrated London News, first published in 1851, and his 1858 album of chromolithographs Stamboul, Recollections of Eastern Life was published by Lemercier and republished in further editions, assuring his fame. Preziosi was invited in 1866 to paint the official portrait of the Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz for the Turkish Pavilion of the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris. During his time in Constantinople which he made his home, Preziosi was the most popular painter in the city.
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