The Hurrem Sultan was painted by Titian in 1550. It is no wonder that Titian chose her for his subject, as she rose from the Ottoman Harem, to become the wife of the Sultan and to reign during an era that came to be known as the Sultanate of Women. Her name in Persian meant “the cheerful one”, which she earned thanks to her playful and joyous spirit. Her will to overcome was immense, and yielded her great prominence and power. Her magnificence is on full display in Titian’s portrait, in which she wears a jewel-encrusted headdress, fashioned from gold and silk.
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