In a previous post I introduced the universal history of John Clark Ridpath. In a section on the origins of Islam Ridpath includes several illustrations. The Orientalist trope of depicting the Prophet Muhammad, as seen in the image above, is interesting because it is a very Ottoman style of dress. The style looks like an Italian version of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the conqueror. Just as devout Protestant missionaries and preachers saw the Bedouin of 19th century Palestine as the exact image of the patriarchs, so it was no stretch of the Orientalist imagination (although it was indeed quite a stretch) to present Muhammad in Ottoman style.

For those curious about the illustration in the earlier post, this is said to be a scene of the tombs in Cairo.

to be continued