Mattia Guidetti, Ottoman Flags Reused as Ex-votos in the Marca Anconitana

By |2021-10-06T14:54:59+00:00October 6th, 2021|Visual Reflections|

On 15 September 1684, blank cannon shots greeted the arrival of an Ottoman flag in Loreto (Ancona). The silk flag (now in the Museum of Cracow) measures 639x321cm and displays an embroidered decoration consisting of Quranic verses, stars, medallions and the so-called Dhu al-Fuqar, a double-bladed sword associated with the figure of ‘Ali (599–661), cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (d. 632). The banner was a donation sent by the Polish king, John III Sobieski (1629–96), to the Marian sanctuary of Loreto. Before arriving in Loreto, it passed through Rome so that Pope Innocent XI (1611–89), who had received another sumptuous flag the previous year, could admire it. The flag came from the Siege of Párkány (today Štúrovo), a battle that followed the liberation of Vienna in autumn 1683, in preparation for the conquest of Buda that occurred in 1686. The gift of the banner to the Marian sanctuary was an ex-voto. Since the victory in Lepanto (1571), the Madonna of the Rosary had assumed the role of custodian of the Catholic lands against the growing Ottoman threat. At [...]