The Last Defenders of Constantinople by Nikolaos Thessalos depicts Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaeologus and his council of nobles. Constantine XI would perish during the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
Measuring 100cm x 70cm, this piece took almost seven months to complete. Nikolaos works in the medium of pen and ink, where he can bring vast amounts of detail to his art.
The document the Emperor is holding is his response to the Ottoman sultan’s demand of surrender:
To give you the City is neither my right nor any of its inhabitants; for all of us with common decision prefer to die by our will and we have no fear for our lives.
Check out this video Nikolaos did to showcase the artwork: