A Mamluk soldier from
De gli habiti antichi, e moderni di diverse parti del mondo libri due,
fatti da Cesare Vecellio & con discorsi da lui dichiatati...
(Of Ancient and Modern Dress of Diverse Parts of the World in Two Books . . .)
by Cesare Vecellio, 1590
Back to African, Mamluk and Arabian Costume and Soldiers in De gli habiti antichi, e moderni di diverse parti del mondo libri due by Cesare Vecellio.
De gli habiti antichi et moderni di diverse parti del mondo libri due . . . (Of Ancient and Modern Dress of Diverse Parts of the World in Two Books . . .), 1590
Cesare Vecellio (Italian, ca. 1521-1601)
Published Venice: Damiano Zenaro
Printed book with woodcuts by Christoph Krieger (Cristoforo Guerra)
Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, 4-OB-12
Cesare Vecellio, who joined the workshop of his famous cousin Titian before 1548, was active as a publisher by 1570.
This book contains 420 illustrations of costumes-exotic and domestic-by the woodcutter Christoph Krieger
and marks the culmination of a trend that began in the mid-sixteenth century with a series of costume engravings by Enea Vico.
The first section of his book covers European dress, including Ottoman Turkey, while the short section on Africa and Asia includes the costume of Persians, Moors, and Arabs.
Vecellio followed his representations of an elaborate Christian court [Ethiopia] with an equally opulent Islamic one in Egypt (figs. 11-16). Egypt was commercially important to Venetians.
This mutually beneficial mercantile relationship began under the rule of the Mamluks.
The Mamluks were white Turkish and Circassian slaves brought as boys to Egypt and raised in families headed by great military officers.37
When they reached adulthood, they could hold their own positions of authority in Egypt. The children of these soldiers were not able to succeed their fathers.
Only the foreign elite of the Mamluk class could govern and lead the military.
Vecellio included one of these Mamluks in his collection of Egyptians (fig. 15), in addition to one of their sultans, Campson Guari, also known as, Qansawh al-Ghawri (fig. 11).
37 Oliver and Atmore, 15-16.
Source: p. 15, African Costume for Artists: The Woodcuts in Book X of Habiti antichi et moderni di tutto il mondo, 1598 by Laura Renee Herrmann