This fine work displays the same luminescent qualities that can be seen in paintings by Lampi and the artist appears to have been well aware of the master’s style. The skin tones have been carefully blended over strong red undertones to create a luminescent and life-like depiction of flesh. The artist also displays a keen eye for perspective and has picked out all the different elements of the man’s costume and the way they catch the light in beautiful detail, particularly the turquoise plume on the top of his turban and the golden fastening chain of his fur-lined cloak. The fashion for dressing in Levantine costume was extremely popular in courts across Europe during the 18th century: the sitter is evidently a man of considerable means, who was keen to display his wealth and worldly knowledge through the fantastical magnificence of his costume.
– Ribeiro. A. Dress in Eighteenth-Century Europe: 1715-89, London, (2002).
(See in particular pp.264-272 for a discussion of the popularity the of Turkish costume in Europe.)- Ribeiro A. ‘Turquerie: Turkish Dress and English Fashion in the Eighteenth Century’, in The Connoisseur, vol. 20, (May 1979).
– Williams, H. Turquerie: An Eighteenth-Century European Fantasy, London, (2014)