The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 5, 2024

Sidi Hadji Abdurrahman Adja (1720–1792)

Sidi Hadji Abdurrahman Adja (1720–1792)

Location: not on view

Did You Know?

The attire of this gentleman is that of a high-ranking North African secretary or scholar, which led scholars to identify him as the ambassador from Tripoli.


Richard Cosway was a prolific painter in London, most well-known for his portrait miniatures and drawings, which he made both on commission and as personal exercises or mementos. Cosway and his wife, Maria Hadfield Cosway, held a fashionable salon at their London residence, and may have invited the likely subject of this drawing, the ambassador from Tripoli, Sidi Hadji Abdurrahman Adja (1720-1792). Abdurrahman Adja was in London in 1786, arrived to improve Tripoli’s reputation with Great Britain. Cosway portrayed the ambassador in a fleeting moment with eyes closed, making sure to capture the fine beard and robes for which he was much admired by London society.
  • Ferrari, Emma, “I Disegni di Riccardo Cosway nella Biblioteca di Lodi,” Rassegna d’Arte XIII (1913) 144-147, p. 145
  • {{cite web|title=Sidi Hadji Abdurrahman Adja (1720–1792)|url=false|author=Richard Cosway|year=1786|access-date=05 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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