Sultan Abd-Ul-Medjid (Abdul Medschid), 31. Sultan of Ottoman Empire
Lithograph, Vienna, middle of 19th century,Paterno edition
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Lithograph executed in the middle of 19th century by Paterno edition , Vienna.
The sitter on lithograph is 31- st Sultan of ottoman empire Abdul-Medjid , born April 23, 1823, died June 25, 1861. He succeeded to the throne on the death of his father Mahmoud II., July 1, 1839. Educated in the seclusion of the seraglio, his weak and almost feminine character, his kind disposition, his love of pleasure, his inexperience and want of knowledge, seemed to render him utterly unfit to rule. Mehemet Ali having a second time rebelled, his son Ibrahim had routed the Turkish army near Nizib, June 24, 1839, and was on his march against Constantinople, where a strong party was secretly conspiring to elevate him to the throne. At the same time the
capu-dan pasha or grand admiral betrayed his trust by surrendering the entire fleet to Mehemet Ali. The intervention of England and the German powers checked the Egyptian designs, and by the treaties of July 15, 1840, and July 13, 1841, Turkey was formally admitted into the political system of Europe. The personal share of Abdul-Medjid in all these proceedings was very small indeed. During the earlier years of his reign he was scarcely more than a puppet in the hands of others; but he became keen enough to discern the purposes of his advisers, while his benevolent disposition made him anxious to do justice and to promote the welfare of his subjects. On Nov. 3, 1839, acting under the advice of Reshid Pasha, he convoked all the grand officers of the empire, the sheiks of the dervises, the three patriarchs of the Christian sects, the three high rabbis of the Jews, the foreign diplomats, the ulemas and mollahs, the trustees of all corporations at Constantinople, and citizens generally, around the pavilion of Gulhane in the imperial park, and there promulgated the Hatti-Sherif or fundamental law, the bill of rights, intended to be the basis of a political reconstruction. Equality before the law was guaranteed to all subjects of the sultan, without distinction of creed or nationality; an equitable mode of taxation was to be introduced; a just system of conscription was also promised. More than once the Hatti-Sherif was confirmed and repeated in new decrees; and in 1845 the sultan went so far as to call a kind of congress, consisting of representatives from different provinces of the empire. A board of education was instituted in 1845, and a system of free public schools established in 1846. On Feb. 18, 1856, the Hatti-Humayum was published, being the draught of a liberal constitution. While from 1840 to 1853 almost every year of Abdul-Medjid's reign was marked by insurrections in one province or another, the court was the theatre of incessant intrigues, amid which the position of the sultan was scarcely more honorable or important than that of a nominally sovereign king in the East Indies. For several years he led a dissolute life, but afterward he appeared to mend his ways in some degree, and improved his education by studying French, mathematics, history, and music. European customs and fashions became more and more prevalent at court, concerts and Italian opera were established permanently, and in 1854 the sultan, "the supreme father of the faithful," even went to a ball. When in 1849 the defeated Hungarian patriots sought refuge on Turkish soil, Abdul-Medjid preferred running the risk of a formidable war to betraying those who had confided in the sacredness of hospitality as taught by Mohammed. He had seven sons and two daughters, but was succeeded, according to law, by his brother Abdul-Aziz.
Inscription: under image in the middle titled in german " S.M."(in English: his majesty) Sultan Abd-Ul-Medjid", and above again in German "edition F. Paterno in Vienna"
Technique: unframed lithograph/ paper.
Measurements: image w 14 1/4 " x h 19 3/4 " (36 x 50 cm)
Condition: in very good condition