Frédéric de Bourgeois, Baron Mercey (French, 1805-1860)
Yanina (Ioannina), Greece watercolour 10.3 x 14.5cm (4 1/16 x 5 11/16in).
The above is after a watercolour of the same subject by Clarkson Stanfield, RA (British, 1793-1867), sold in these rooms 23 May 2008 (lot 146). Based on a sketch by William Page (British, 1794-1872), the image was engraved by W. Brockedon and published in Finden's Illustrations of the Life and Works of Lord Byron, Vol. I (London, 1833).
In 1809, Byron (1788-1824) visited the court of Ali Pacha, the ruler of Ottoman Europe, in Ioannina. He was struck by the opulence of the palace, as well as the cruelty of Ali Pasha'a rule, and recorded the encounter in his epic poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-1818). He returned to Greece in 1823 to join the Greek revolutionaries in the movement for independence from the Ottoman Empire, and died of a fever the following year at Messolonghi.
Depicted is a view of the Aslan Pasha mosque on Pamvotis lake. Built in 1618, in the grounds of the Byzantine castle of Ioannina, the Aslan Pasha Mosque served as a place of worship for the Muslim population of Ioannina until 1933, when it was converted to the Municipal Museum of the city.