Inspired by a 400 year old love poem

Let’s get back to Hürrem’s story. So far in our series, our heroine as gone from slave to Suleiman’s favourite consort, to the mother of his children, to his wife. And as I promised, soon you’ll see where the titles of this series come from.

This piece is set in autumn. Let’s continue:

©2017, Ailene Cuthbertson, <i>The most beautiful among the beautiful</i>. Photograph, 30 cm x 30 cm
©2017, Ailene Cuthbertson, The most beautiful among the beautiful. Photograph, 30 cm x 30 cm

Ottoman imperial tradition stated that when a son of the sultan came of age, he and his mother were to be sent to a faraway province. Hürrem, however, stayed in the sultan’s court all her life.

Hürrem was an intelligent woman and well educated. She became Suleiman’s political adviser in state and international affairs. She also had a hand in controlling the Crimean Tatar slave-raiding.

Suleiman was also a poet. Signed Muhibbi, meaning “lover”, Suleiman wrote poems for Hürrem. You can find parts of the 400 year old love poem he is reading her in the titles of this series.

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes at the Hamilton Gardens.
Behind the scenes at the Hamilton Gardens.

And here it is – Suleiman’s poem to Hürrem that inspired the titles of this series. Isn’t it beautiful? I wouldn’t mind getting love poems like this…

Throne of my lonely niche, my wealth, my love, my moonlight.

My most sincere friend, my confidant, my very existence, my Sultan, my one and only love.

The most beautiful among the beautiful

My springtime, my merry faced love, my daytime, my sweetheart, laughing leaf…

My plants, my sweet, my rose, the one only who does not distress me in this world…

My Constantinople, my Caraman, the earth of my Anatolia

My Badakhshan, my Baghdad and Khorasan

My woman of the beautiful hair, my love of the slanted brow, my love, of eyes full of mischief

I’ll sing your praises always

I, lover of the tormented heart, Muhibbi of the eyes full of tears, I am happy.

Muhibbi
I had fun creating the prop poem Yevgen is reading to Elena in this piece
I had fun creating the prop poem Yevgen is reading to Elena in this piece

This piece is for sale. You can find all the details and how to order in my gallery (or, just email me ailene@oldmountainart.com).

©2017, Ailene Cuthbertson, The most beautiful among the beautiful. Photograph, 30 cm x 30 cm

Next time

We’re up to the last artwork in this series. We’re up to eternal love (with tulips)!

2 thoughts on “Inspired by a 400 year old love poem

  1. the Hamilton garden theme, certainly fits in with your “story series” – I suspect you researched all that before you got into creating the story…

    I’m making a “story” series as well, but it won’t really be out in the world until next year, I’m applying for an art residency with a dedicated project – and that is all due early September. I won’t be leaving the Auckland region but it’s going to work in well with my TLC Honours. Even though it’s not like the usual Creative Work Experience component, it can be produced under it, with slightly different “twist” on the matter, and it’s been approved…

    1. Hey Cathy. I did have a lot of fun researching all sorts for this series! I’m really glad I live near the Hamilton Gardens – they’re fantastic backdrops. Your projects sounds fascinating – all the best! 🙂

(If you'd like to leave me a message too, I'd love to hear from you! I've turned off comments on this post because it's older than a couple of weeks, but you can email me at ailene@oldmountainart.com)