The book is dedicated to the life and works of Fausto Zonaro
(1854-1929), an Italian artist best known for his paintings of life and history
of the Ottoman Empire.
The volume contains a foreword by the historian Philip Mansel, a summarized
article on the artist’s life, and excerpts from the personal diary of the
artist’s youngest sister, Leonia, which is presented with a front-note prepared
by her great grandson, Giovanni Gaidoni.
The diary contains reminiscences of Leonia’s love, trust, and respect for her
brother. It also highlights the deep affection Fausto felt for his family, but
predominantly for his youngest sister. We witness the difficulties and
sacrifices Fausto went through in his formative years, which undoubtedly led to
the development of a strong character and a determination that paved his way to
success. Leonia’s short impressions and experience of her Istanbul journey
provide a vivid reflection of manners and daily life in the great Ottoman
The publication includes new images of recently unveiled works of the artist, a
selection of his popular themes, and masterpieces that add documentary value to
the history of the later years of Ottoman Turkey. Some of the artist’s special
works and those of his acquaintances are described separately.