1st Half 17th C.
This portrait depicts Francis, the 6th Duke of Athens, painted in the 1st half of the 17th century, it hangs within a period giltwood frame. The frame slightly warped at top, minor inpainting. The history of the duke is as follows:
Francesco II Acciaioli (died 1460), called Franco, was the last Duke of Athens. He was the son of Duke Antonio II Acciaioli but had only ruled for two years (1455–1456) when the Turkish army under Turahanoğlu Ömer Bey arrived in Athens. The duke and his citizens hid themselves in the Acropolis and held out against the Turks until June 1458, when they were forced to surrender. Mehmed II entered Athens in August 1458, and allowed Franco to retain lordship of Thebes as his vassal. Franco also reportedly became one of Mehmed's many lovers.
In 1460, Mehmed was informed by his Janissaries of a plot to place Franco once more in Athens. Franco was summoned to the Morea by Zaganos Pasha, one of the sultan's governors. After a long night of entertainment, Zaganos Pasha told Franco that his last hour had struck. Franco's last request was to be killed in his own tent, which was honored.