Rubens - Mulay Ahmad
Type of Spiritual Experience
According to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, this painting is a free copy after a lost portrait by Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (1500– 1559) that was probably in Rubens's own collection. Therefore, Mulay Ahmad had died many years before Rubens painted him. Mulay Ahmed was the Berber King of Tunis and the image later served as a model for the Black King in several of Rubens's images of the Adoration of the Magi.
I also found another theory, however, that this is a portrait of Ahmad I al-Mansur (Arabic: أحمد المنصور السعدي, ) who was Sultan of the Saadi dynasty from 1578 to his death in 1603, the sixth and most famous of all rulers of the Saadis. Ahmad al-Mansur was an important figure in both Europe and Africa in the sixteenth century, his powerful army and strategic location made him an important power player in the late Renaissance period.
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