Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Moroccan Ambassadors

Copyright University of Birmingham 

 copyright English Heritage
The fine portraits of the Moroccan ambassadors 
[1] to Elizabeth I : Abd el-Ouahad ben Messaoud, 1600 by unknown artist, now Shakespeare Centre with legend '1600 / Abdul Guahid / Envoy from the Barbary Kingdoms to England / age 42' 
 and [2] to Charles II : Ben Hadou, 1684, by Godfrey Kneller and Jan Wyck (now Chiswick House)  
have been joined by two splendid images of  Georgian envoys

copyright Ben Elwes
copyright Ben Elwes 

 [3] to George I and George II:   Admiral Hajj Abdelkader Perez, with a naval engagement by Michael Dahl;
and [4] to George I :  Mohammed Ben Ali Abgali by Enoch Seeman.

Both painted during their tours of duty in Britain, and both retained by the courtier who was appointed their host/minder/liaison officer.  
It was obviously a tradition  They make one wonder what the sitters and their  entourages thought of the likenesses in Anglo-mode, half-length or three-quarter-length, and whether any copies were made for them to take home.

Here, incidentally, is John Evelyn's eye-witness account of Amb. Hadou's presentation to the Court of St James:

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