Audience With The Mad King, Benoît Hamet, May 2015,echnical pen on paper, 21,6 x 33,9 cm.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Pera Museum invites artist Benoît Hamet to reinterpret key pieces from its collections, casting a humourous eye over ‘historical’ events, both imagined and factual. Each month we will witness an episode from the visit of Yusuf Agah Efendi, the first ambassador of the Ottoman State to England. Passing through Austria, Germany, and Belgium, his delegation arrived in England by way of sea in 1793. Ambassador during the reign of the Mad King George III, we imagine just what might have happened during formal occasions as two vastly different cultures met.
This month Hamet’s intricate drawing, inspired by Nicolas de Largillière’s painting, imagines an audience with George III, who wears a funnel on his head instead of a crown. Trying to keep a straight face, the ambassador and his retinue present him with a missive from their Sultan. See if you can spot these influential figures from the period:
- Frederick, Duke of York
- George, Prince of Wales (dressed in ‘Oriental’ costume for the occasion)
- William, Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews
- Prince Ernest Augustus
- Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex
- William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister
- Alexander Wedderburn, 1st Baron Loughborough, Lord Chancellor
- Queen Charlotte
- Princess Charlotte
- Doctor Francis Willis, physician to the King
- Charles James Fox, opposition politician
Benoît Hamet was born in 1984 in France. He completed his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the European School of Visual Arts Angoulême/Poitiers. He spent one year of his Master’s degree on an Erasmus scholarship at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna. He continued working in Angoulême following graduation and illustrated for a variety of French publishers. He currently lives and works in Istanbul.
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