The Entrance of Mehmet Effendi to the Tuiliries Gardens on 21st March 1721

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Honors Freshman Seminar
Portfolio 1

Charles Parrocel . The entrance of Mehmet Effendi to the Tuiliries Gardens on 21st March 1721. Oil on Canvas, 228 x 329 cm Versailles. Musée  national des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon.

The painting depicts the event of the arrival of the Ottoman Ambassador Mehmet Effendi to the garden of Tuiliries on 21st March 1721. It was painted by Charles Parrocel, who was appointed by King Louis XV to paint the series of the visit of Turkish ambassador to France. The painting is currently in Palace of Versailles in France. This event is very significant in the history of Orientalism as it is the first time an Ottoman ambassador was sent abroad. The idea of an Ottoman Ambassador to Paris was proposed by the Grand vizier Ibrahim Pasha to the French ambassador in Ottoman ambassador Marquis de Bonnac. However Bonnac did not pay any heed to the suggestion, primarily because of two reasons. Firstly, the Ottomans previously considered it below their dignity to sent an Ottoman ambassador abroad. Even to discuss any important issue an Ottoman representative holding a low- post would be sent. Secondly, the recent mission which took place in France in 1669 during the reign of King Louis XIV, which involved an Ottoman representative Süleyman Ağa . He had presented himself with the status of ambassador where as he sent as a humble diplomat. When the King had found out the truth, he was angered and Süleyman Ağa was dishonored. Therefore, for all these reasons Bonnac did not take the effort to proceed with the Vizier's suggestion. However, the situation had changed in early 1720's. Bonnac was surprised to know that the Ottoman king, Sultan Ahmed III was eagerly writing to Paris regarding the issue of an ambassador. And the man finally chose for this post was, Mehmet Effendi. Mehmet Effendi belonged to the Janissary corps and was educated in the palace school. He was not only competent in political and military affairs but an...
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