Half Figure of a „Turk“

The half figure of an Ottoman protruding from the gable of Palais Saurau in Graz, Austria does not allow for any generally accepted interpretation – explanations ranging from a sign of a house down to an exercise dummy for knights preparing for a tournament. Yet the persistent stereotype of the „Turk“ can be clearly attributed to it: the personified threat of Christianity in the Early Modern Period. It stands for an arch enemy whose menacing nature had entered deep into the imagination of the people of the time via sermons, leaflets and other writings.

Time Period: 1500 – 1800 CE
Size: 111 cm x 150 cm x 40 cm
Artist: Unknown
Material: Oak wood
Institution: Graz Museum