A rare painting of Hurrem Sultan, known in the West as Roxelana, the wife of legendary Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, was sold in a London auction for $173,000.
The sale came as part of an auction by Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewellery and collectables, called “Arts of the Islamic World & India.”
The oil painting is from the late 16th-early 17th century.
Originally from what is now western Ukraine, Roxelana entered Suleyman’s harem and quickly became his favourite.
He broke convention by allowing her to bear not just one son, but four. He then broke convention again by marrying her.
She was influential not only as his wife but was also at the heart of helping him run the empire. While Suleyman was away on campaigns, she would write to him and keep him updated on developments in the capital.
She was also a major sponsor of architecture and charitable foundations, including in Jerusalem.
Suleyman the Magnificent, also known as Kanuni – Lawgiver – is the longest-reigning Ottoman monarch who had been on the throne for 46 years until his death in 1566.
Earlier, Sotheby’s had announced the auction in London on October 27 called “Arts of the Islamic World & India.”
The firm said that the auction will celebrate the achievements of artists and craftsmen from the Islamic world for more than 1,000 years.
Sotheby’s Deputy Director Alexandra Yasmina Roy said, “We’re thrilled to have this painting of Roxelana who was the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent. She started off as a concubine in his harem and rose amongst the ranks to become one of the most powerful women at the court, so she’s incredibly inspirational.”