Graphite, watercolor, red chalk on paper
Sheet: 23.5 cm (9 1/4 in.)
Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2023.46
The attire of this gentleman is that of a high-ranking North African secretary or scholar, which led scholars to identify him as the ambassador from Tripoli.
Richard Cosway was a prolific painter in London, most well-known for his portrait miniatures and drawings, which he made both on commission and as personal exercises or mementos. Cosway and his wife, Maria Hadfield Cosway, held a fashionable salon at their London residence, and may have invited the likely subject of this drawing, the ambassador from Tripoli, Sidi Hadji Abdurrahman Adja (1720-1792). Abdurrahman Adja was in London in 1786, arrived to improve Tripoli’s reputation with Great Britain. Cosway portrayed the ambassador in a fleeting moment with eyes closed, making sure to capture the fine beard and robes for which he was much admired by London society.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.