Vanmour, Jean Baptiste (1671-1737), school of – Turkish merchants by the quayside, c.1725
Vanmour, Jean Baptiste (1671-1737), school of – Oil on canvas, Turkish merchants by the quayside, Unsigned, circa 1725
Van Mour was born in Valenciennes, a Flemish town belonged to the Spanish Netherlands, but becoming French in 1678. He studied art in the studio of Jacques-Albert Gérin, and his work attracted the attention of an aristocrat and statesman of the time, Marquis Charles de Ferriol. Van Mour was invited to go to Istanbul when De Ferriol was appointed there as the French Ambassador in 1699. De Ferriol commissioned van Mour to do one hundred portraits of the local people. These were published 1707-08 by De Ferriol in Recueil de cent estampes représentant différentes nations du Levant, which was very popular and translated into five languages, and introduced the exotic world of the Middle East to the Europeans. The early decoration of Meissen porcelain shows the influence of Vanmour with the numerous harbour scenes of Turkish merchants by the quayside. Another strong link to Meissen porcelain occurred when in the 1727, the ambassador for the Dutch Republic, Cornelis Calkoen, asked Van Mour to record his audience with Sultan Ahmed III. He became a patron of Van Mour, and on his appointment in the 1730’s to the post of ambassador to Augustus the Strong in Dresden, he took along his Van Mours. No doubt they were received with interest in the Dresden court, being just the exotic curiosity which so fascinated Augustus the Strong.
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