Ali Pascià is the historical Albanian character for whom he has written perhaps more than any other Albanian character in history.
More than two hundred have been dedicated to him among historical monographs, novels, poems, poems and so on; it is the only Albanian for which 21 works have been composed, which have been staged in the largest theaters in Europe, such as in Berlin, London, New York and Milan.
In addition to the works and novels, countless publications have been dedicated to him: in the United Kingdom, in France, in Italy, there are many documents with a unique value that speak of this character, still little known.
Alì Pascià also attracted the attention of the most important European painters. His exploits, his battles, the events that accompanied his life, created profound impressions in the greatest painters of the time such as Delacroix, Jacobs, Stackelberg, Monvoisin etc.
The private life of Ali Pascià in world art
The paintings dedicated to this personality are dominated by themes of an epic nature, such as scenes of war and conflict, but next to these the artists were struck by the lands in which we lived the Albanians, characterized by unique landscapes, and by particular customs until then unknown.
On the other hand, really Ali Pascià, attracted the attention of the artists also for its very particular private life: at the age of almost 60 years, the monarch of Tepelena married the not yet sixteen year old Kyra Vasilika, originally from the Chameria .
A woman who was considered among the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful. Although she was a Christian and he was a Muslim, a wedding was organized in the church of Porto Palermo; an event without precedent in the Islamic world of the time.
Vasilika loved Ali Pasha in an incredible way, not only when the monarch was alive but also after his death. This girl, unlike the world and the Ottoman morality, followed the trends, tastes and refinement of European fashion and models.
These and many other behaviors of the private life of Ali Pasha with Vasilika became publicly known in the writings of the time. The rebellion against moralism and the Islamic institution created the opportunity for foreign painters to dedicate a large number of oil paintings to the couple.
Four European painters, the portrait of Alì Pascià
Paul Emil Jacobs
Paul Emil Jacobs he was a German painter. He was born in 1802 and died in the 1866. For art critics he is a master of the nude, and he immortalized Ali Pascià together with Vasilika during the intimacy of a couple's vacation.
As well as in his last moments of life, when Ottoman troops entered the room with force. Unlike other Europeans of his generation, he gladly followed the war for the independence of Greece and the human actions that gave rise to the revolution of Ali Pasha.
Raymond Monvoisin was born in France, in Bordeaux, in the 1790 and died in the 1870. After his brilliant career in France he moved to Italy in the 1823. While his name became famous for a series of works oriented towards romanticism, he undertook numerous trips to Latin America.
He worked very passionately on the subject and figure of Alì Pascià in some very similar works, always together with his Vasilika. His paintings depicting Alì Pascià, have become objects of reproduction by other painters.
Helley he depicted Vasilika in one of the most difficult moments of his life, that is, after the death of Ali Pascià. In the painting by Helley, in fact, Vasilika is in the days of great solitude, in the moments of her severe suffering, without support and support in life.
Only sadness and distant memories accompany it. He stayed with him until the last moment he faced the Ottoman Empire.
Hayez was born in Venice in the 1791 and died there in the 1882. He was a painter who inserted himself between neoclassicism and European romanticism. Among his many works, we find some paintings depicting Albanian themes.
But why was the Venetian painter interested in Albania?
Since the city of Parga, in Ciamuria, was a Venetian possession before ending up under the power of Ali Pasha. The residents of Parga, who did not want to remain under the power of Ali Pasha, tried to leave before Pasha took the keys to the city.
Some of them emigrated to Corfu, where they settled for some years. This tragic and epic scene, which shook the opinion of the city of Venice and Hayez, inspired the Venetian painter himself.
The unknown painting of Eltjon Valle
The Albanian artist and painter Eltjon Valle , which operates in Milan, attempted to buy - in the exhibition organized in the cathedral of Milan - a painting depicting Ali Pasha.
The painting is original and belongs to the late eighteenth century. It depicts Ali Pasha with his knees Vasilika: while to the left of the painting there is an armed group that seems to have entered forcefully into the intimacy of Ali Pasha.
But who is the author of this painting that represents perhaps the last moment of life of the Albanian sultan? The signature looks a lot like that of Hayez. However, it is now Albanian owned thanks to the acquisition of Eltjon Valle.
An important step, given that for Alì Pascià there is no museum in Albania but his paintings and everything that represents him is in world museums: an addition to the value of our artistic and cultural heritage.
Purchasing works of art on this subject is a gesture rooted in the culture and patriotism of the individual, which should be honored and supported. Hoping that this is only the first step and that the Albanian heritage will be further expanded, as part of the Albanian national identity and culture.
This article was originally published in Shqiptarja.com by Title "Një tablo and panjohur and Ali Pashës në fondin and një shqiptari" author Irakli Kocollari.