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The janissary

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Roc, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. Johan Well-Known Member

    Roc, it looks as if you're going to do some great painting on this classic Poste Militaire figure . I like the bold colour scheme you have chosen, those reds are beautiful!

    And thanks for the clarifications on Islam history and the Koran; quite a refresher for me, it's AGES ago since I studied that subject at University.
    Isn't this a wonderful hobby - there's so much we learn about history and other cultures while we paint our little men !
  2. Roc Active Member

    Thank you Johan,you are too kind, I appreciate you encouragement and I'm glad you're enjoying the research material.

    Happy painting and keep those brushes wet.


    Roc :)
  3. megroot A Fixture

    Hello Roc,

    My mouth felt open. So beautifully done. I hope you explain the glaces off the highlihts. That's new for me.

    Keep going.

  4. Roc Active Member

    Hello Mark, glazing is usually done on a figure to enhance high lights and deepen shadows; it is very easy to do.

    1 -Glazing Highlights = When figure is completely dry, I apply a highlight color sparingly over the highest point of the already existing highlights.

    2- Glazing shadows = when figure completely dry, I apply shadow color sparingly into the deepest depths of the already existing shadows.

    This process is usually repeated several times in between drying periods to achieve the desired effect.

    I hope this helps.


  5. Roc Active Member

    Ottoman Empire:
    History in a nut shell.

    1325: The forces of sultan Orhan takes control over Bursa, and makes this the capital.
    1338: The Byzantines are drive out of Anatolia. But their great city of Constantinople (today Istanbul) is still under their control.
    1354: The region of Ankara is conquered.
    1355: Gallipoli (Gelibolu) is conquered, and becomes an important staging post for the Ottoman's European expansion.
    1361: The city of Adrianople (Edirne) on the western side of the Bosphorus, is conquered.
    1393: Northern Greece is captured.
    1402: The Ottomans are heavily defeated by Timur Lenk near Ankara, leading to a weakening that should last for a few decades. But the Ottoman empire would return to its old strength.
    1453: After years of siege, the Ottomans takes control over Constantinople.
    1466: Albania is conquered.
    1475: Crimea is put under the empire as a vassal state.
    1514: Iran is defeated with the battle at Chaldiran.
    1517: Mamlukes of Egypt and Syria are defeated, and their territories are included into the empire. Together with this came the holy Muslim places in Arabia.
    1519: Algiers becomes part of the empire as a vassal state.
    1521: Barka (northeastern Libya) is added to the empire.
    — Belgrade is captured.
    1526: Hungary is defeated at the Battle of Mohacs.
    1529: Sultan Süleyman 1 tries to conquer Venice, but does not succeed.
    1531: Tunis is included to the empire as a vassal state.
    1551: Tripolis (of today's Libya) is added into the empire as a vassal state.
    1534: Iraq is added into the empire.
    1829: Greece gets autonomy.
    1830: Serbia gets autonomy.
    — Northern Algeria is taken by France.
    1832: Greece becomes independent.
    1839: Beginning of Tanzimat, the reform process that intended to bring the empire up on level with European states in administration and other fields.
    1875: The Ottoman empire is bankrupt, and can no longer pay interests on its debts to European finance institutions.
    1876: Under sultan Abdülhamit 2, the Ottoman empire gets its first constitution.
    1878: The constitution is suspended.
    — Romania, Serbia, Montenegro as well as part of Bulgaria becomes independent as a part of the Treaty of san Stefano.
    1881: The Ottoman empire is forced ot accept European financial control.
    — Tunisia is taken by the French.
    1882: Egypt is occupied by Britain.
    1912: Libya is annexed by Italy.
    1914: The Ottoman empire enters the World War 1 in alliance with Germany, and in the beginning it sees several military victories.
    1915-16: Armenians east in Anatolia are deported, and many massacred by Kurdish irregulars. 600,000 (some estimates run over 1 million) Armenians died.
    1917: Beginning of the British campaigns in Iraq and Syria. This leads to several Ottoman defeats, and the following year the loss of the Middle Eastern territories.
    1919 May: Greece attacks Anatolia at Smyrna, and takes control over many areas in western regions.
    1920: The Ottoman empire is forced to sign the Treaty of Sèvres, leading to the loss of Arab territories and a partition of Anatolia.
    1922: Nationalist Turks drive the Greek out of western Anatolia under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal.
    — November 1 The Ottoman empire is abolished, and would the following year be replaced with the Republic of Turkey.

    Attached Files:

  6. Roc Active Member

    HAREM in the Ottoman Empire an extreemly happy place.

    The image of a harem conjures visions of opulent surroundings filled with beautiful, sensuous women whose sole duty was to entertain an aging yet still lustful sheik or Sultan. This image may have been based on the imperial harems of the 16th and 17th centuries of the Ottoman Empire. In this period of history, harems played an important role in the governing of the Ottoman Empire. This most renown period was known as the Reign of Women, the Kadinlar Sultanati. The involvement of the harem women, and more specifically, the Valide Sultan (Sultan’s Mother or Queen Mother) and the Sultan’s favorites (favored harem women), in state politics, diminished the power and position of the Sultan. As the Sultan was the head of the government (or Divan), this interference proved to be detrimental to the Ottoman state.

    Historical Background

    The harem was defined to be the women's quarter in a Muslim household. The Imperial harem (also known as the Seraglio harem) contained the combined households of the Valide Sultan (Queen Mother), the Sultan’s favorites (hasekis), and the rest of his concubines (women whose main function was to entertain the Sultan in the bedchamber). It also contained all the Sultanas’ (daughters of the Sultan) households. Many of the harem women would never see the Sultan and became the servants necessary for the daily functioning of the harem.

    The reasons for harem existence can be seen from Ottoman cultural history. Ottoman tradition relied on slave concubinage along with legal marriage for reproduction. Slave concubinage was the taking of slave women for sexual reproduction. It served to emphasize the patriarchal nature of power (power being "hereditary" through sons only). Slave concubines, unlike wives, had no recognized lineage. Wives were feared to have vested interests in their own family’s affairs, which would interfere with their loyalty to their husband, hence, concubines were preferred, if one could afford them. This led to the evolution of slave concubinage as an equal form of reproduction that did not carry the risks of marriage, mainly that of the potential betrayal of a wife. The powers of the harem women were exercised through their roles within the family. Although they had no legitimate claim to power, as their favor grew with the Sultan, they acquired titles such as "Sultan Kadin" which solidified their notion of political power and legitimacy within the royal family was reflected with titles including "Sultan".

    During the 16th century, both male and female members of the imperial family used the title of "Sultan". As the role of the royal favorite concubine (title: Sultan) eroded during the 17th century, the title designation also changed to "kadin" or "haseki," which were names originally reserved for less prominent members of the royal family. Henceforth, only the mother of the reigning Sultan was addressed as a Sultan: the Valide Sultan. The retention of the title of Sultan for the mother indicated the power of the Valide Sultan. After all, men could take as many concubines and odalisques as they desired, but they only had one mother.

    Many of the concubines and odalisques of the Imperial harem were reputed to be among the most beautiful of women in the Ottoman Empire. Young girls of extraordinary beauty were sent to the Sultan’s court, often as gifts from the governors. Numerous harem women were Circassians, Georgians, and Abkhasians. They were usually bought from slave markets after being kidnapped or else sold by impoverished parents. Many Georgian and Circassian families encouraged their daughters to enter concubinage through slavery, as that promised to be a life of luxury and comfort. All slaves that entered the harem were termed odalisques or "women of the court" - general servants in the harem. Odalisques were not usually presented to the Sultan. Those that were of extraordinary beauty and talent, were seen as potential concubines, and trained accordingly. They learned to dance, recite poetry, play musical instruments, and master the erotic arts. Only the most gifted odalisques were presented to the Sultan as his personal gedikli (maids-in-waiting). Generally, odalisques would be assigned as servants to the oda (or court) of a harem mistress. For example, the Mistress of the Robes, or the Keeper of Baths, or the Keeper of Jewels, etc. It was possible for these odalisques to rise through the ranks of the harem hierarchy and enjoy security through their power and position.

    The most powerful women in the harem were the Valide Sultan and the Kadins. The Valide Sultan was responsible for the maintenance of order and peace inside the harem. Being a female elder in the Imperial family, the Valide was expected to serve as a guide and teacher to her son by educating him about the intricacies of state politics. Often, she was asked to intervene upon the Sultan’s decisions when the Mufti (head of the Muslim religion), or the Viziers (ministers) felt that the Sultan may have made an erroneous decision.

    Kadin’s were the Sultan’s favorite women. Tradition allowed only four principal Kadins but unlimited number of concubines. Kadins were equivalent in rank to that of a legal wife, and were given apartments, slaves, and eunuchs. For example, during the reign of Selim II (the Sot), his favorite, the bas kadin Nurbanu had an entourage of one hundred and fifty ladies-in-waiting. The amount of properties, clothing, jewelry, and allowances given, was all-proportional to the affection the Sultan held for them.

    Odalisques were at the bottom of the harem hierarchy. They were considered to be general servants in the harem. They were not usually seen to be beautiful enough to become presented to the Sultan. Odalisques that were seen as potential candidates for concubinage were trained to become talented entertainers. The greatest honor a Sultan could bestow upon a male guest was to present him with an odalisque from his court who had not yet become his concubine. These women were greatly coveted as they were beautiful and talented, and what is more important, had links into the harem hierarchy. Concubines could be considered an equivalent to the modern version of a "one night stand". They were odalisques that were presented to the Sultan and after that one night, they might never see the Sultan again unless the girl became pregnant with a male child. If she was successful in birthing a male child, then she would become an ikbal (favorite) to the Sultan. The female hierarchy followed the pattern of odalisques (virgins), concubines ("one night stands"), ikbals (favorites), and kadins (favorites "wives").

    Harem women formed only half of the harem hierarchy. Eunuchs were the integral other half of the harem. Eunuchs were considered to be less than men and thus unable to be "tempted" by the harem women and would remain solely loyal to the Sultan. Eunuchs were castrated men and hence possessed no threat to the sanctity of the harem.

    According to Muslim tradition, no man could lay his eyes on another man’s harem, thus someone less than a man was required for the role of watchful guardianship over the harem women. Eunuchs tended to be male prisoners of war or slaves, castrated before puberty and condemned to a life of servitude.

    White eunuchs were first provided from the conquered Christian areas of Circassia, Georgia, and Armenia. They were also culled from Hungarian, Slavonian, and German prisoners of war. These white eunuchs were captured during the conflicts that arouse between the Ottoman Empire and the Balkan countries. Black eunuchs were captured from Egypt, Abyssinia and the Sudan. Black slaves were captured from the upper Nile and transported to markets on the Mediterranean Sea - Mecca, Medina, Beirut, Izmir and Istanbul. All eunuchs were castrated en route to the markets by Egyptian Christians or Jews, as Islam prohibited the practice of castration but not the usage of castrated slaves.

    There were several different varieties of eunuchs:
    Sandali, or clean-shaven: The parts are swept off by a single cut of a razor, a tube (tin or wooden) is set in the urethra, the wound is cauterized with boiling oil, and the patient is planted in a fresh dung-hill. His diet is milk, and if under puberty he often survives.

    The eunuch whose penis is removed: He retains all the power of copulation and procreation without the wherewithal; and this, since the discovery of caoutchouc, has often been supplied.

    The eunuch, or classical thlibias and semivir, who has been rendered sexless by the removing of the testicles..., or by their being bruised..., twisted, seared or bandaged.

    Black eunuchs tended to be of the first category: Sandali, while white eunuchs were of the second or third categories, thus have part or their entire penis intact. Because of their lack of parts, black eunuchs served in the harem, while white eunuchs served in the government (and away from the women). At the height of the Ottoman Empire, as many as six to eight hundred eunuchs served within the Seraglio (palace). Most eunuchs arrived as gifts from governors of different provinces. At the end of their training as young eunuch pages, eunuchs were assigned to service. White eunuchs were placed under the patronage of various government officials or even into the service of the Sultan himself (like in Topkapi Palace). If they were black eunuchs, they were placed into the service of a harem personage, such as a Kadin, or a daughter or sister of the Sultan. They could also serve under the Kizlar Agha (master of the girls), the Chief Black Eunuch.

    The Chief Black Eunuch (Kizlar Agha)

    The Kizlar Agha was the third highest-ranking officer of the empire, after the Sultan and the Grand Vizier (Chief Minister). He was the commander of the baltaci corps (or halberdiers - part of the imperial army). His position was a pasha (general) of three tails (tails referring to peacock tails, and the most number of tails permitted being four and worn by the Sultan). He could approach the Sultan at any time, and functioned as the private messenger between the Sultan and the Grand Vizier. He was the most important link between the Sultan and the Valide Sultan (mother of the Sultan).

    The Kizlar Agha led the new odalisque to the Sultan’s bedchamber, and was the only "man" who could enter the harem should there have been any nocturnal emergencies. His duties were to protect the women, to provide and purchase the necessary odalisques for the harem, to oversee the promotion of the women (usually after the death of a higher-ranking kadin) and eunuchs. He acted as a witness for the Sultan’s marriage, birth ceremonies, and arranged all the royal ceremonial events, such as circumcision parties, weddings, and fêtes. He also delivered sentence to harem women accused of crimes, taking the guilty women to the executioner to be placed into sacks and drowned in the Bosphorus which lay outside the Topkapi Palace.

    The Chief White Eunuch (Kapi Agha)

    The Chief White Eunuch was the head of the Inner Service (which is the palace bureaucracy) and the head of the Palace School (school for white eunuchs). He was also Gatekeeper-in-Chief, head of the infirmary, and master of ceremonies of the Seraglio. The Kapi Agha controlled all messages, petitions, and State documents addressed to the Sultan, and was allowed to speak to the Sultan in person. In 1591, Murad III transferred the powers from the white to the black eunuchs as there were too many embezzlements and various other nefarious crimes being attributed to the white eunuchs, among them being purported intimacy with the harem women. The Kapi Agha’s loss of powers was seen through the decreasing of his ceremonial duties (which had various stipends entailed) and the decrease in his overall income. Originally, the Kapi Agha was the only eunuch allowed to speak to the Sultan alone, but as his importance decreased, the Valide Sultan and the Kizlar Agha were able to request private audience with the Sultan also. Because of their possible disloyalty, white eunuchs were assigned positions that did not bring them into contact with the harem women as many of them had incomplete castrations (still possessing of their penis). The total number of white eunuchs in the Seraglio at any given time was between 300 and 900.

    In the late sixteen hundreds, the power of the black eunuchs grew. During the Kadinlar Sultanati, the eunuchs increased their political leverage by taking advantage of child Sultans or mentally incompetent ones. It was during this period of enthronement of child Sultans that caused political instability. The young teenage Sultans were "guided" by regencies formed by the Valide Sultan, the Grand Vizier and the Valides other supporters. The Kizlar Agha was the Valide Sultan’s and the Kadin’s intimate and value accomplice.

    Attached Files:

  7. Lou Masses Member

    Nice stuff! Now tell me more about the Harem and how we can get one in 21st century US :lol:
  8. Roc Active Member

    Hey Lou ,thanks buddy appreciate it.

    As far as the harem I'm still looking for one....... I you have any ideas on how to get one,please letr me know...... :lol: :lol:


    Roc. :)
  9. Roc Active Member

    Hey guys, just finished painting the sleeves on the Janissary, they are not dry yet and still needs some shadows and highlights.
    My mischievous cat Knocked the janissary down earlier causing some of the paint to chip away, I’ll fix that later. :(

    Comments and advice are always appreciated.







    Roc :)
  10. Guy A Fixture

    Looks great Roc...........I was just out in my shop in the garage drilling my Janissary for pegging........I like your reds and orange. Do they get highlighted more?
  11. Roc Active Member

    Hey Guy thanks, they are definitely going to get more highlights,especially the uppermost parts. ;)

    Roc. :)
  12. KeithP Active Member

    As always, I am impressed with your color seletion and how well they compliment the different pieces of clothing. Very cool to see! (y)

  13. Roc Active Member

    Thanks Keith,I'm glad you like it.


    Roc. :)
  14. Johan Well-Known Member

    Roc, he's coming along very well I see! (y)

    And thanks for the historical notes on the Ottoman empire and harems, eunuchs (brrrr ....!) etc. I appreciate it very much and have learned something while reading your posts ! A big THANK YOU !!!
  15. Roc Active Member

    Johan, thanks for the kind words and I'm glad you enjoyed the historical research.

    Roc :)
  16. yeo_64 Active Member

    GREAT research,GREAT figure,Roc ! WELL DONE,my friend (y) (y) (y) !!! Cheers.
  17. Roc Active Member

    Kenneth, thank you very much for all the kind words an encouragement, I always appreciate them.

    What do you have on the workbench?

    Keep upm the great sculpting. ;)


    Roc. :)
  18. yeo_64 Active Member

    Hey Roc,thanks for the kind words :lol: ;I really appreciate them ! Well,in answer to your question,I'm thinking of sculpting a Bosnian-Herzegovinian officer(the fez wearing one in the picture) based on a photo I found on a website dedicated to the Austro-Hungarian forces of WW1. He'll be shown with the fur coat unbuttoned to show-off part of the uniform worn underneath. I'll be placing him on a resin base by Fontegris Miniatures. Right now,I'm in the process of raiding my spares box for the relevant parts to start the conversion. What do you think of it,Roc ;) ? All comments welcome.Cheers,my friend !
    Kenneth :)

  19. Roc Active Member

    Kenneth,I think it's a fantastic idea,I like it. (y)
    Why not sculpt both figures? I think that would make an awesome vignette. ;)
    I'm really looking forward to seeing your new project and I will be following this one very closely, although I have not painted many WWI figures, I'm very interested in the first big war.

    Keep the good work.

    Roc :)
  20. Le Lancier Member

    Hi Roc,

    I've just noticed your step by step. Guess I wuz asleep when visiting the forum :lol: . I too enjoy Postes Militaire figures. There're some of the finest. Did you know ELITE is re-releasing some of the 70mm figures originally released by PM? Mostly the Franco Prussian war subjects from what I gather.

    I'm truly amazed at the work your putting into your articles. It takes a lot of research and labor. Your figure is coming right along too. Frankly amazing. Hats off and thank you for your hard work in bringing to us all that info.


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