Painting: Jews arrive in Ottoman Empire in 1492

This beautiful painting was posted by the Ottoman Imperial Archives.

Lenny Ben David ,

Ottoman Archives Logo
Ottoman Archives Logo

The Ottoman Imperial Archives continues to release amazing pictures, photos and documents from the rich Ottoman history.  

The painting below is the latest example. We thank the archivists for their wonderful work which can be seen on Twitter @OttomanArchive as well as the archives' website.

The modern-day caption says "More than 150,000 Spanish Jews Fled the Spanish Inquisition and Brought to the Ottoman Empire in 1492."  

The painting shows Jews who escaped the Spanish expulsion and rabbis getting off their ship and meeting Turkish dignitaries who came to greet them at the dock..


Called "The Welcome Painting", it is said to be by Mevlut Akyildizk (Ottoman Imperial Archives

From United with Israel site: The Jewish people would witness a revival, similar to the Golden Age that they experienced in Spain, which lasted for 300 years following the Expulsion of 1492. Rabbi Joseph Caro wrote the Shulchan Aruch, the standard code of Jewish law in Safed, Israel, under Ottoman Turkish rule. The Lekhah Dodi prayer which Jews to date traditionally sing in the Friday evening synagogue services around the world, was composed in medieval Israel by Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz under Ottoman Turkish rule. Similarly, Rabbi Jacob Kuli’s Me’am Loez, an extremely popular Torah commentary written in the Ladino language, as well as Rabbi Avraham ben Isaac Asa’s translation of the Tanakh into Ladino, were also published under the Ottoman Turks.

Yet the Golden Age of the Jews of Ottoman Turkey expanded far beyond religious scholarship. David and Samuel Ibn Nahmias introduced the printing press into the Ottoman Empire, in 1493 when they established the first Hebrew Printing Press. Joseph Nasi was appointed Duke of Naxos, while Aluaro Mandes was named Duke of Mytylene and Salamon ben Nathan Eskenazi arranged the first diplomatic ties between the Ottoman Turks and the British Empire. Gracia Mendes, a wealthy Sephardic Jew who moved to Ottoman lands, arranged with the Turkish sultan to purchase the city of Tiberius with the intention of making it an independent Jewish city state and her plan almost succeeded. This was several hundred years before the rise of the Zionist movement. And Esther Kyra exercised enormous influence in the Ottoman courts.Indeed, Ottoman Turkey was truly “enriched” by the arrival of the Sephardim.

For more Jewish History in pictures, click here.