Striking engraving of the Dardanelles, showing the all-important waterway in an idyllic manner, with Ottoman citizens picnicking and small fishing boats sailing. In the distance, Constantinople can be seen.
This view was produced as part of Antoine Ignace Melling's Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople et des rives du Bosphore, considered to be his masterpiece. This young German artist joined the Russian Ambassador's retinue in the 1780s and traveled extensively in the Ottoman Empire. The sister of the Ottoman Sultan Selim III, Hatice Sultan, was particularly taken by his work, and he was employed as Imperial Architect for 18 years. He sketched extensively and published these sketches in his work upon his return to Paris.