to have been born in 1483, however, we can see from his notes that he was born in 1486.His family settled
on one of the islands in Lake Como (northern Italy, 40 km from Milan) was previously called the Zobii. The
name of the family, later adapted to the Latin language, was replaced first by Zobio, then Jovius, which
became, in Italian, Giovio to sound more elegant (4; 3). Paolo Giovio, an author of many works is also
known as the authorof biographical books portraying the lives of his contemporaries. One of his works which
are of greater interest to usis Elogia virorum bellica virtute illustrium (Praise of Men Illustrious for Courage
in War). The book was first published in 1554 and later it was republished several times. There were no
illustrations in the first edition of the book, later, the illustrations of the next edition published in Heinrich
Petri and Perna printing house in Basel, Switzerland in 1575 were painted by artist Tobias Stimmer. The
portrait of Shah Ismail I was described in the book. The woodcut portrait attracts attention with its similarity
to the portrait painted by Cristofano dell'Altissimo in 1568. The point is that Stimmer was sent to Como by
publisher Perna to copy the Giovio Collection in 1569-1570 (5). The Sufi Portrait in the Giovio Collection
differed from the portraits of other Turkish and Eastern sultans. Apparently, it was due to the fact that unlike
the Ottomans, Sufi was a political partner of the Europeans. Sufi was known in Europe as a sheikh, saviour,
and even a prophet. According to the legends spread, he was incredibly powerful, humanist and fair. For the
very reason, there were rumours that Sufi had converted to Christianity and he was expected to be a saviour
for the Christians and Europeans. Due to the aforementioned mentioned reasons, he was probably depicted as
a spiritual, handsome, and bright person in the portrait painted by Cristofano. Paolo Giovio also wrote about
Ismail I with great respect in his work (6; 786-787).
When we talk about Paolo Giovio, we have to mention another book Promptuarium Iconum Insigniorum
(Collection of Images RI )DPRXV 3HUVRQV E\ )UHQFK SXEOLVKHU *XLOODXPH 5RXLOOp ZKLFK ZDV SXEOLVKHGLQ
Lyon, France in 1553. The book plays an important role in iconography and includes portraits designed as
medals and brief biographies of many notable figures. The first edition contains more than 800 medallion
SRUWUDLWV E\ YDULRXV DUWLVWV 2QH RI WKHP LV ³6RSKL 3HUV´ DQG WKH PHGDOOLRQ ZDV DFFRPSDQLHG E\ WKH
15 years before the portrait by Cristofano dell'Altissimo. The image depicted in the engraving resembles the
LGHQWLFDO*LRYLR¶V IDPRXV SRUWUDLW FROOHFWLRQ ZDV RQ the focus of various studies along with his life and
creative activity. Some of the portraits in the collection became the topic for researches, papers, and theses.
However, the portrait of Shah Ismail I has not been researched to the fullest extent.
Our researches in the archive, library and, art collections of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in March this
year have yielded certain results. A lot of travellers, merchants, and envoys from many parts of Europe are
known to have visited Safavid Palace at different times. Each had their own goals and intentions. One of
those travellers was Giovanni Maria Angiolello. Maria Angiolello was a Venetian traveller, merchant, and
author of the report of early Safavid State. The notes of Angiolello who visited the Shah Palace during the
reign of Shah Ismail I can be regarded as an invaluable historical resource. Paolo Giovio is supposed to have
XVHG$QJLROHOOR¶VQRWHVZKHQKHZURWHKLVERRNVDQGWKHSRUWUDLWVRI,VPDLO,ZHUHFUHDWed on the basis of
those notes (7; 31-32).
The description of a Kizilbash soldier on the ceiling of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence can serve as
evidence of Italians special interest to Shah Ismail I and the Kizilbash. The Kizilbash soldier by painter
/XGRYLFR %XWL KDV EHHQ ³VWDQGLQJ VHQWU\´ IRU Veveral centuries in the Hall of Sculpture, Painting, and
Florence in the early XVI century (8; 255). Interestingly, the author of the song Castellano de Castellani was
a close friend of the Medici family (9; 92). Apparently, the Safavid State of Azerbaijan and "Sufi" were on
the focus of interest not only in Venice but also the Medici family.
The research The Life and Personality of Shah Ismail (1487-1524) was carried out at the University of
Edinburgh in 1981.Thedissertation presented by Muhammad Karim Youssef--DPƗOƯIRUWKH'HJUHHRI'RFWRU
of Philosophy is sufficiently comprehensive and detailed. Chapter III of the dissertation is called Shah
,VPDLO¶VSK\VLFDODSSHDUDQFHZHUHXVHGE\0..Youssef as accurate information in the dissertation:
³7KLV6DIDYLGNLQJLVIDLUKDQGVRPH and very pleasing; not very tall, rather stout than slight with broad
shoulders, his hair is reddish and he only wears moustachesand uses his left hand instead of his right. He is
left-handed by nature and sWURQJHUWKDQDQ\RIKLVORUGV´ .