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Henry Hunter was a Levant Company merchant based in Aleppo, the trading capital of Syria (then under Ottoman rule) and the gateway to the silk routes. He is shown in Turkish attire, being presented with the trophies of his day’s hunting. Hunting was a frequent pastime of the Aleppo merchants, whose leisure activities were otherwise restricted. The Italian painter Andrea Soldi travelled to the Middle East before settling in England in 1736 on the advice of the British merchants.

February 2016