Albanian Chieftain, early 19th century
The Turks who were settled in Anatolia, in the XIII century, in the region between Angora and Brussa were called Ottomans, after Othman (Osman in Arabic), the founder of their power. After Othman had conquered Brussa from the Byzantines, he started an expansion campaign that, over a period of two centuries, made the Ottoman Empire the largest Muslim State. In the XIV century the Ottomans conquered Gallipoli and started a process of infiltration in Europe. In the XV century they took possession of the Balkan peninsula occupied Costantinople and put an end to the Byzantine Empire. They overcame Hungarian and Albanian resistance and extended their dominion as far as Bosnia and the Adriatic Sea. In the XVI century Suleiman occupied Hungary and Belgrade, and after the conquest of the Black Sea coast he extended his Empire in Asia as far as the Persian Gulf, and in Africa as far as Morocco. The Ottomans, bitter enemies of the Venetian Republic, suffered defeat at the hands of the Christian coalition forces at the Battle of Lepanto (1571). The decline of the Ottoman Empire began in the second half of the XVII century and continued through the XVIII century thanks to the pressure exerted by Austria and Russia. Total collapse came in the XIX century when the European Powers took the “Eastern question” to heart. The spread of Russian Orthodoxy and ideas of freedom rekindled national feeling in the peoples living in the occupied countries, and one by one, with the help of the European countries , beginning with Greece ,they obtained their independence . In 1922 the Sultanate was suppressed. The Empire ended in 1923 and the Turkish Republic was proclaimed . The caliphate was abolished in 1924.
The painted model can be seen on Romeo Models website. The subject can also be seen in Osprey publications, especially “ Armies of the Ottoman Empire 1775-1820 “ . The figure represents an Albanian Chieftain in early XIX century costume . The Ottoman forces in the provinces were magnificently dressed, and Albanian costumes , according to the western artists and writers, were the most splendid and elaborate . Weapons , too , were ostentatiously decorated. Muslims were distinguishable from Christians as the former carried more weapons, and in theory, Christians were not allowed to carry any.
Historical research and translation: R.Carrabino