|Carle Van Loo, Sultane (Mme de Pompadour portrayed as a Turkish lady), 1747|
(Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris)
|Amedee Van Loo, Le Dejeuner de la Sultane (Sultana's Luncheon), 1783|
|Kahve Keyfi (Enjoying Coffee), First half of 18th century|
|Jean-Baptiste Vanmour, Women Drinking Coffee, First half of 18th century|
Jean-Baptiste Vanmour who lived in the Ottoman capital from 1699 until his death in 1737 working with the French and later the Dutch ambassadors, created some of the most reliable depictions of Ottoman people and interiors. Since he was part of an embassy, he got to experience the rituals of the palace firsthand. Although he would still not be allowed inside a harem (the section of the house devoted to females) Vanmour's paintings show realistic interiors and women.
|John Frederick Lewis, The Cofeebearer, 1857|
European artists' fascination with Constantinople and the Orient was an ongoing phenomenon that culminated in Orientalism in art. Canvases of Western artists, depicted their fantasies of throngs of women, lounging about, sometimes naked, waiting for the pleasure of one man. Those who visited came back with props, sketches and memories of exotic lands and strange people, those who did not, relied on accessories, costume books and travel memoirs. The dainty coffee cup became one of the most iconic props used by Orientalist.
|Daniel Valentine Riviere, Phanariot Greek Ladies, mid 19th century|
|John Frederick Lewis, Harem life, Constantinople, 1857|
And so, our daily cup of coffe went down in history as something rare and exotic, a thing of beauty...
|Osman Hamid Bey, Kahve Ocagi (Coffee stove), 1879|
1 Stein, Perrin. “Madame de Pompadour and the Harem Imagery at Bellevue.” Gazette
des Beaux Arts, Vol. 123, (January 1994), pp. 29-44.
2 Stein, Perrin. "Amedee Van Loo's Costume turc: The French Sultana." The Art Bulletin, Vol. 78, Bi, 3 (Sep., 1996), pp.417-438.
3 Ibid., p. 427