The University of Arizona

The Customs and Fashions of the Turks: Historiographical Trends and a Possible Hypothesis Based on Historical Context

Samantha Goodrich


This paper examines the secondary English-language scholarship on Dutch artist Pieter Coecke van Aelst's frieze, The Customs and Fashions of the Turks. By examining the scholarship on this woodcut series, this paper points out the trends and lacunae regarding the artist and his work. In addition to summarizing historical trends related to Coecke and the frieze, I also posit a possible hypothesis based on the scenes of a circumcision procession and Suleyman's procession through the Hippodrome. By placing these scenes into their proper historical context, I argue that it is possible that Coecke was alluding to Suleyman's son's circumcision festivities in 1530, shortly after his siege of Vienna against the Hapsburgs, in order to secure tapestry commissions and/or to gain favor with the Sultan.

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