In 1657, King Charles X Gustaf of Sweden sent Claes Ralamb as an envoy to Sultan Mehmed IV's court. While he was there, Ralamb commissioned 20 large paintings in oil on canvas, depicting an imperial procession through Istanbul in September 1657, providing a revealing insight into the court of Sultan Mehmed IV in Ottoman Turkey. For the first time, Ralamb's paintings are published here in The Sultan's Procession . This beautifully illustrated book - containing over 150 colour illustrations - comprehensively covers the full history of the paintings, including a technical analysis from the conservation of one of the paintings. The book also provides a full history of Claes Ralamb and his mission, including the political background of the Swedish embassy, Ralamb's biography and English translations of primary sources in Swedish and Turkish archives. Among the illustrations are over 100 watercolours of people in the Ottoman society from the costume album acquired by Ralamb in Istanbul. These unique Ralamb paintings provide a rare window into life at the Ottoman court in the 17th century.
Karin Adahl is Associate Professor in art history at Uppsala University and an art historian. She is the director of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.