Available as a print.
This artwork depicts legendary Roxelana, one of the most interesting character in Ukrainian culture.
She was one of the most powerful and influential women in the Ottoman history. “Roxelana” might be a nickname, referring to her heritage; “Roxolany” or “Roxelany” was one of the names of Ukrainians, up to the 15th century. Her real name was either Oleksandra or Anastasia. Future sultana was born in Galicia or Podilia (modern Ukraine) in a priest family. A 15-year old girl was kidnapped by tatars and sold to a sultan’s harem according to numerous Ukarinian legends. Soon Roxelana became the favourite wife and later «Haseki Sultan» (a chief wife) of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. She achieved power and influenced the politics of the Ottoman Empire through her husband and played an active role in state affairs of the Empire.
A branch of viburnum (a symbol of the birth of the universe and maternity in Ukrainian culture) depicts her origin.
Richly decorated Ottoman dagger in the sleeve symbolizes intrigues that were used by Roxelana to fight for power and position in society.
Tulip was a symbol of Osman dynasty. It was depicted on relives, frescos and thousands of ceramic tiles which decorated rebuilt by Osmans Istanbul. Numerous tulip spices and varieties were gathered in palace gardens from the whole Empire.
Tears on her face symbolises tragic destiny of Roxelana’s children. Antique Ottoman brooch, which consists of a moon and a star, holds peacock feathers on a turban. Peacocks occur from time to time in Ottoman poetry both for their elegant plumage and also for the beautiful voice the bird possessed before it fell from grace and was cast out of Paradise (Ahmed Paşa). Peacock feathers can bring good luck or bad luck in Islam.