Muley Muhammad al-Rashid

Václav Hollar - engraver

Václav Hollar - engraver - Muley Muhammad al-Rashid
In 1669, British endeavours to secure greater safety in Tangier led to preparations for diplomatic peace and trade negotiations with Muley Arsheid Zeriff, Sultan of Morocco, whom the English nicknamed Tafiletta. In 1663, the British began constructing a fortified harbour, in the hope of controlling the region from there, but it soon became apparent that the construction work and the administration of the fortified city would by no means be easy. The troubled locality was frequently attacked by marauding hordes from the land and pirates from the sea. Wenceslaus Hollar, in the capacity of Royal Scenographer, offered to document the diplomatic mission by way of drawings. The leadership of the embassy and the negotiations was entrusted to Sir Henry Howard, grandson of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, with whom Hollar, aged twenty-nine, had ventured on his first great voyage up the Rhine and Danube in 1636, eventually accompanying his patron back to England. Besides his views of the town, Hollar made this portrait of the sultan, which was later included into the book „Africa“, published by John Ogilby (see R 50713). In his Diary, Samuel Pepys observed that in their exotic white garments the local people looked like ghosts.
measurements: height 170 mm
width 128 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: etching, first state
inventory number: R 117853
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings