Angelo Soliman

Angelo Soliman


Angelo Soliman (Mmadi Make) was born in Nigeria (approx. 1721) and died on the 21st November, 1796, in Vienna.

Mmadi Make was a young boy and belonged to the Kanuri people who lived in northeastern part of Nigeria, southeast Niger, western Chad and northern Cameroon areas of Africa.

He was still a child when he arrived in Marseilles as a slave during the 1720s and eventually took his place as Angelo Soliman in the household of a Marquis in Messina who was responsible for his education.



The Royal Moor

In 1734, Angelo was given to Prince Georg Christian (Prince von Lobkowitz), the Imperial Governor of Sicily and accompanied the Prince as his personal valet on his many journeys through Europe.

After the death of Prince Lobkowitz, Soliman was transferred to the household of Joseph Wenzel I, Prince of Liechtenstein.

The Noble Moor

Soliman was a cultured well educated man. He joined the Masonic lodge "True Harmony" and later became Grand Master of that lodge. It is suggested that Soliman had most probably met Mozart, and many other prominent people in the intellectual circles of Vienna, during those years. Soliman was regarded as a perfect example of assimilation and perfection.


The Mummified Moor

After his death, Soliman was skinned, stuffed and mummified and became a specimen of the "African race" which was displayed as an exhibit in the cabinet of curiosities in Vienna.

During the October revolution of 1848, the building was set on fire and the mummified body of Soliman burned.


Palais Liechtenstein
The young Angelo Soliman can be seen on the right


Angelo Soliman accompanied Prince Liechtenstein during his escorting of Joseph's future wife, Isabella of Parma to Vienna
for the wedding and is portrayed in the painting depicting the wedding procession in the centre of Vienna.
Soliman can be seen behind the Liechtenstein coach.


Soliman was highly respected in Vienna by the intellectual circles and in 1783, he joined the
Masonic lodge ‘True Harmony’ and eventually became the Grand Master of that lodge.


Many influential people in Vienna such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Josef Haydn were members of that lodge. Soliman met Mozart on several occasions and the character ‘Bassa Selim’ in Mozart’s opera ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’ (The Abduction from the Seraglio) was most probably based on Soliman.