AN ODALISQUE, STYLE OF LEVNI, TURKEY, OTTOMAN, FIRST QUARTER 18TH CENTURY
gouache heightened with gold on paper
painting: 15.7 by 9.5cm.
leaf: 31.2 by 21cm.
In generally good condition, laid on carton, minor flaking and minor retouching, affecting mainly the neck of the lady, minor stains and minor holes, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Christie’s London, 13 April 2010, lot 259.
This standing portrait of a female figure belongs to a tradition popular in the first half of the eighteenth century of representing story characters in a single portrait. Albums with such figures were put together with the precise aim of providing a visual aid to the audience while the story was narrated. This portrait of an elderly plump woman is almost the mirror image of a painting now in the Topkapi Palace Museum (inv.no.H.2164) representing a plump lady holding a carnation (f.8b, illustrated in Irepoglu 1999, p.159).
The whole album was painted by one of the most celebrated painters of the Tulip Period, Abdülcelil Celebi Levni. Levni was active at the Ottoman court, under the patronage of Sultan Mustafa II (r.1695-1703) and Ahmed III (r.1703-30) and was renowned for his delicate and lively manner of depicting single figures, detaching himself from the static and more classical early seventeenth-century style of Ottoman portraiture.