22 Works by Orientalist Artists, Eugène Delacroix, Antoine-Jean Gros, Benjamin-Constant, Emile Lecomte-Vernet, Charles Wilda, Leopold Carl Müller, Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Frederick Lewis..., with footnotes

In the 19th century, a fad for the Orient appeared. The artists were inspired by its luxury, its mystery and of course, the supernatural that surrounded this part of the world. 

Alfred Dehodencq, 1822 - 1882, FRENCH
Oil on canvas
85.5 by 120cm., 33¾ by 47¼in
I have no further description, at this time

Alfred Dehodencq (23 April 1822 – 2 January 1882) was a mid-19th-century French Orientalist painter born in Paris. He was known for his vivid oil paintings, especially of Andalusian and North African scenes. Dehodencq was born in Paris. During his early years, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. During the French Revolution of 1848 he was wounded in the arm and was sent to convalesce in the Pyrenees before moving to Madrid. He spent five years in Spain where he became acquainted with the works of Spanish painters Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya which had a strong influence on his approach to painting.

In 1853 he travelled to Morocco, where for the following ten years he produced many of his most famous paintings depicting scenes of the world he encountered. Dehodencq was the first foreign artist known to have lived in Morocco for an extended number of years.

Dehodencq married Maria Amelia Calderon in 1857 in Cadiz, Spain, and they had three children. Dehodencq returned to Paris in 1863 with his wife, and was decorated with the Legion of Honour in 1870. He committed suicide on 2 January 1882 having been sick for a long time and is buried in the Montmartre Cemetery. More Alfred Dehodencq 
Watercolour, Pencil and pen and ink on paper
32 by 49cm., 12½ by 19¼in.
Private collection

The Golden Gate or Gate of Mercy is the only eastern gate of the Temple Mount, and one of only two Gates of the Old City of Jerusalem that used to offer access into the city from the East side.

The gate has been sealed since medieval times. Its interior can be accessed from the Temple Mount. It was recently converted into a mosque.

In Jewish tradition, the Messiah will enter Jerusalem through this gate. Christians and Muslims generally believe that this was the gate through which Jesus entered Jerusalem. More on The Golden Gate
Carl Friedrich Heinrich Werner (4 October 1808 – 10 January 1894) was a German watercolor painter.

Born in Weimar, Werner studied painting under Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld in Leipzig. He switched to studying architecture in Munich from 1829 to 1831, but thereafter returned to painting. He won a scholarship to travel to Italy, where he ended up founding a studio in Venice and remaining until the 1850s, making a name for himself as a watercolor painter. He exhibited around Europe, in particular travelling often to England, where he exhibited at the New Watercolour Society.

He travelled through Spain in 1856-1857, in 1862 to Palestine and then to Egypt, and to the latter country he returned for a longer trip in 1864. Particularly notable were his watercolors in Jerusalem, where he was one of the few non-Muslims able to gain access to paint the interior of the Dome of the Rock. He published a large body of work in London as Jerusalem and the Holy Places, and some more watercolors from Egypt in 1875 as Carl Werner's Nile Sketches. He later travelled to Greece and Sicily, and became a professor at the Leipzig Academy, dying in Leipzig in 1894. More on Carl Friedrich Heinrich Werner

Oil on canvas
55.5 by 81cm., 22 by 32in.
Private collection
George Washington, born 15 September 1827 in Marseille and died November 19, 1901 in Douarnenez, was a French Orientalist painter. Like most aspiring artists, the young Georges Washington moved to Paris, where he trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under François-Edouard Picot (1786-1868). The artist’s exotic style was also indebted to Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863). Washington’s art conveys a similar feeling to the work of Eugène Fromentin (1820-76) who often painted naturalistic Middle Eastern scenes of rural and nomadic life. Washington’s love of the Middle East and its customs was further enhanced and encouraged by his father-in-law, the military and Orientalist painter Henri-Félix-Emmanuel Philippoteaux (1815-1884), whose daughter Anne-Léonie Philippoteaux married Washington in Paris on 6th August 1859.

Not long after finishing his training at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Washington embarked on the first of a number of trips to Algeria and based on close observation of its inhabitants, their dress and customs in 1857 he made his Paris debut at the Salon des Artistes Français with a view of nomads titled Plaine du Hoiina (Sahara Algérien). From then up until 1901 Washington continued to be a popular exhibitor at the Salon; one of his first works shown there to gain critical acclaim was Nomades dans le Sahara en Hiver. In addition to Paris, Washington also showed his work in Moscow in 1881 and was later posthumously honoured when four of his paintings were included in the Exposition Coloniale de Marseille in 1906.

Following two commissions from a Belgian company, he travelled to Morocco and then subsequently visited Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, which were to inspire his varied subjects including battle scenes and cavalry skirmishes. His travels also took him to America for the unveiling in Philadelphia of a cyclorama (a monumental 360° panoramic view) of the Battle of Gettysburg by his brother-in-law Paul-Dominique Philippoteaux (1846-1923).

Following the death of his wife he retired to live with his daughter and son-in-law at Douarnenez on the Brittany coast, where he died shortly after on 19th November 1901. More George Washington

It is first through literature that depictions of the Orient appeared. Indeed, in 1704, Antoine Galland published the first French translation of The Arabian Nights. And in 1721, the Persian Letters by Montesquieu drew the public’s attention to the East. But the depictions of the Orient that we can find in literature are sometimes romanticized and convey a false image to the Westerners. More on Orientalism

OTTO PILNY, 1866-1936, SWISS
Oil on canvas
118 by 183cm., 46½ by 72in.
Private collection
Otto Pilny was a Swiss painter. He was born in 1866 in Budweis and died in 1936 in Zürich. He began his artistic education in Prague and lived in Vienna for a time before ultimately settling in Zurich. He travelled to Egypt twice, making his first visit in 1875 where he stayed for two years. He was so captivated by the landscape, people and their mores that he spent the rest of his career painting Orientalist works. He was particularly taken by the Bedouin customs and often travelled with them into the desert where he could sketch the evening entertainment which he would later use on his massive canvases. His second visit to the East was from 1889 to 1892. It was at this time that his work pleased the King of Egypt, Abbas II, and he was asked to decorate the order of the Medjidije. More Otto Pilny 

Oil on canvas
145.5 by 195.5 cm
Private collection

Alphons Leopold Mielich (Klosterneuburg, 27 January 1863 - Salzburg, 25 January 1929) was an Austrian orientalist painter. In 1902, he traveled with the Czech scholar Alois Musil to the Umayyad desert castle Qasr Amra, then in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Jordan), where he copied some of the paintings discovered there. More Alphons Leopold Mielich
Oil on canvas
65 by 55cm., 25½ by 21½in
Private collection
Edwin Lord Weeks (1849 – 1903) was an American artist. Weeks was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1849. His parents were affluent spice and tea merchants from Newton, a suburb of Boston, and as such they were able to finance their son's youthful interest in painting and travelling. As a young man Weeks visited the Florida Keys to draw, and also travelled to Surinam in South America. His earliest known paintings date from 1867 when he was eighteen years old, although it is not until his Landscape with Blue Heron, dated 1871 and painted in the Everglades, that Weeks started to exhibit a dexterity of technique and eye for composition—presumably having taken professional tuition.
In 1872 Weeks relocated to Paris, becoming a pupil of Léon Bonnat and Jean-Léon Gérôme. After his studies in Paris, Weeks emerged as one of America's major painters of Orientalist subjects. Throughout his adult life he was an inveterate traveler and journeyed to South America (1869), Egypt and Persia (1870), Morocco (frequently between 1872 and 1878), and India (1882–83).
Weeks died in Paris in November 1903.[2] He was a member of the Légion d'honneur, France, an officer of the Order of St. Michael, Germany, and a member of the Munich Secession. More on Edwin Lord Weeks

Eugène Delacroix
The Death of Sardanapalus, c. 1844
Oil on canvas
73,7 x 82,4 cm, 
The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Sardanapalus learned he was facing military defeat, he ordered all his possessions destroyed, including his many concubines, servants and animals, before he committed suicide.
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school.
As a painter and muralist, Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish author Walter Scott and the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the "forces of the sublime", of nature in often violent action.
However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, and his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, "Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible." More on Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix
The Lion Hunt, 1861 CE
Oil on canvas
76 cm (2 ft 5.91 in), 98 cm (3 feet 2.5 in)
Private collection

Cairos, quae olim Babylon Aegypti maxima vrbs, c. 1575 CE
Engraving, hand-colored
Height: 33 cm (13 in), Width: 48.5 cm (19 in)
I have no further description, at this time

Léon Cogniet  (1794–1880)
The 1798 Egyptian Expedition Under the Command of Bonaparte (in 1798), c. between 1827 and 1835
Oil on cardboard
22 × 17 cm (8.6 × 6.6 in)
Louvre Museum

Léon Cogniet (29 August 1794 – 20 November 1880) was a French history and portrait painter. He is probably best remembered as a teacher, with over one hundred well-known students.

He was born in Paris. His father was a painter and wallpaper designer. In 1812, he enrolled at the École des Beaux-arts, where he studied with Pierre-Narcisse Guérin. He also worked in the studios of Jean-Victor Bertin. After failing an attempt to win the Prix de Rome in 1816, he won the following year with his depiction of "Helen Rescued by Castor and Pollux" and received a stipend to study at the French Academy in Rome until 1822. Before leaving, he had his first exhibition at the Salon.

In 1827, he created a series of murals on the life of Saint Stephen for the church of Saint-Nicholas-des-Champs. From 1833 to 1835, he painted a scene from Napoleon's expedition to Egypt on one of the ceilings at the Louvre. Between 1840 and 1860, he operated a popular painting workshop for women, directed by his sister Marie Amélie and one of his students, Catherine Caroline Thévenin (1813–1892), who later became his wife. After 1843, he concentrated almost entirely on teaching, with an occasional portrait. After 1855, he essentially gave up painting.

After 1831, he taught design at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. He also taught at the École polytechnique from 1847 to 1861. In 1851, he was appointed a Professor at the École des Beaux-arts, a position he held until 1863, when he retired, slowly giving up his private students and becoming more reclusive .

He died forgotten in the 10th arrondissement of Paris in 1880 and is interred at Père-Lachaise. More on Léon Cogniet

John Frederick Lewis  (1805–1876)
A Lady Receiving Visitors (The Reception), c. 1873
Oil on panel
height: 635 mm (25 in); width: 762 mm (30 in)
Yale Center for British Art 

John Frederick Lewis RA (London 14 July 1804 – 15 August 1876) was an Orientalist English painter. He specialized in Oriental and Mediterranean scenes in exquisitely detailed watercolour or oils. Lewis lived for several years in a traditional mansion in Cairo, and (after his return to England) painted highly detailed works showing both realistic genre scenes of Middle Eastern life and more idealized scenes in upper class Egyptian interiors with no traces of Western cultural influence yet apparent.

His very careful and loving representation of Islamic architecture, furnishings, screens, and costumes set new standards of realism, which influenced other artists, including the leading French Orientalist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme in his later works. Unlike many other Orientalist painters who took a salacious interest in the women of the Middle East, he "never painted a nude", and his wife modelled for several of his harem scenes. More on John Frederick Lewis

Jean-Léon Gérôme  (1824–1904)
The Slave Market, c. 1866
Oil on canvas
height: 84.8 cm (33.3 in); width: 63.5 cm (25 in)
Clark Art Institute

Jean-Léon Gérôme (11 May 1824 – 10 January 1904) was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as Academicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects, bringing the Academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. He is considered one of the most important painters from this academic period, and in addition to being a painter, he was also a teacher with a long list of students. More on Jean-Léon Gérôme

Leopold Carl Müller (Austrian painter) 1834 - 1892 
Egyptische Tänzerin (An Aimée's Admirers), c. 1882
Oil on canvas
30 3/8 x 49 3/4 in. (77.1 x 126.3 cm.)
Private collection

Leopold Carl Müller (9 December 1834 – 4 August 1892) was an Austrian genre painter noted for his Orientalist works.

Born in Dresden to Austrian parents, he was a pupil of Karl von Blaas and of Christian Ruben at the Academy in Vienna. Obliged to support his family after his father's death, he worked eight years as an illustrator for the Vienna Figaro. Continuing his studies subsequently, he visited repeatedly Italy and Egypt, and made his name favorably known through a series of scenes from popular life in Italy and Hungary.

In the late 1860s, he visited Paris, where he was inspired by the work of Eugene Fromentin and subsequently turned his attention to the Orientalist genre. In 1877 Müller took a position as professor at the Vienna Academy and later as a rector during 1890–91. 

He travelled to Egypt many times throughout his life, often staying there for six months at a time. More on Leopold Carl Müller

Charles Wilda (Austrian, 1854-1907)

Inside the souk, Cairo, c. 1892

Oil on canvas

21 1/8 x 17¾ in. (53.7 x 45.1 cm.)

Private collection

Charles Wilda, originally Karl (20 December 1854, Vienna – 11 June 1907, Vienna) was an Austrian Orientalist painter. 

He studied with Leopold Carl Müller at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. It was Müller who first introduced him to Orientalist painting.

He often stayed in Cairo for extended periods, and scenes of the daily street life there compose the bulk of his works. In 1892, he undertook a journey through North Africa with his friend, the sculptor Arthur Strasser, which provided additional inspiration.

Beginning in the 1880s, he was a regular exhibitor at events in Vienna, Berlin, Munich and Dresden. He was also represented by several works at the Exposition Universelle (1900).

In 1895, he was awarded the Kaiserpreis [de] for art and, in 1898, was presented with a small, golden State Medal. Two of his paintings were acquired for the Imperial Collection of Kaiser Franz Joseph I. More on Charles Wilda

Charles-Emile-Hippolyte Lecomte-Vernet (French, 1821-1900)
A young Greek girl, c. 1870
Oil on canvas
49 x 34 in. (125.1 x 86.4 cm.)
Private collection

Emile Lecomte-Vernet, born Charles Émile Hippolyte Lecomte, is from a family of famous painters. He began by painting portraits of the wealthy bourgeoisie and the aristocracy . It begins at the Paris Salon in 1843 where he received a bronze medal. Very quickly, he developed a taste for orientalism. His first paintings on this theme are exhibited at the Salon of 1847 ( Syrian head and Syrian woman ) and he produced numerous portraits of Oriental women. News of his time did not leave him indifferent either and so he painted pictures with subject the Crimean War (1853-1855) or the massacre of the Maronites by the Druze in Syria in 1860-1861. More on Emile Vernet Lecomte

I have no further description, at this time

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
The Favourite of the Emir
Oil on canvas
142.2 x 221 cm (56 x 87 in.)
Washington, National Gallery of Art

Benjamin-Constant took great delight in the juxtaposition of the richly embroidered fabric against the smooth pale flesh of the women's arms and chests and the subtle variations between the two women. On the right, the darkhaired woman gazes directly at the viewer while her companion is shown fully in repose, her body relaxed and her eyes closed as if lulled to sleep by the musician seated behind her. The paleness of her skin and her rich auburn hair suggest that she is not a native. Playing upon contemporary fantasies of European beauties who have been spirited away to lead the pampered, cloistered life of a courtesan in a harem—the inclusion of the man standing guard in the background at the far right of the composition serves as a reminder of the locale—Benjamin-Constant introduced an erotic charge into this exotic and visually seductive painting. This painting, the first by the artist to enter the Gallery's collection, is a gift of the United States Naval Academy Museum. More on this painting

Emile Lecomte-Vernet, born Charles Émile Hippolyte Lecomte, is from a family of famous painters. He began by painting portraits of the wealthy bourgeoisie and the aristocracy . It begins at the Paris Salon in 1843 where he received a bronze medal. Very quickly, he developed a taste for orientalism. His first paintings on this theme are exhibited at the Salon of 1847 ( Syrian head and Syrian woman ) and he produced numerous portraits of Oriental women. News of his time did not leave him indifferent either and so he painted pictures with subject the Crimean War (1853-1855) or the massacre of the Maronites by the Druze in Syria in 1860-1861. More on Emile Vernet Lecomte

Antoine-Jean Gros
Bonaparte visitant les pestiférés de Jaffa, c. 1804
Oil on canvas
532 cm × 720 cm (209 in × 280 in)
Louvre Museum

The painting countered a number of charges lobbed against Napoleon: “instead of a general abandoning his army in a foreign land, it represented a caring leader risking his life to raise the troops’ morale, and instead of a ruthless, self-interested executioner, it showed a compassionate, humane man with seemingly supernatural healing powers. More on this painting

Antoine-Jean Baron Gros (born March 16, 1771, Paris, France—died June 26, 1835, Paris), was a French Romantic painter principally remembered for his historical pictures depicting significant events in the military career of Napoleon.

Gros received his first art training from his father, who was a painter of miniatures. In 1785 he entered the studio of his father’s friend Jacques-Louis David, whom he revered but whose cerebral Neoclassical style was uncongenial to Gros’s romantically passionate nature. As a student, he was more influenced by the energetic brushwork and colour of Peter Paul Rubens and the Venetians than the hard linearism of his contemporary Neoclassicists.

In 1793 Gros went to Italy, where he met Joséphine de Beauharnais and, through her, Napoleon. In 1796 he followed the French army to Arcole and was present when Napoleon planted the French flag on the bridge. This incident he immortalized in his first major work. Napoleon bestowed on him the rank of inspecteur aux revues. He accompanied Napoleon on his campaigns and also helped select works of art from Italy for the Louvre.

After the fall of Napoleon and the restoration of the Bourbons (who gave Gros the title of baron); as the heir of Neoclassicism. He continued to paint large compositions—e.g., the ceiling of the Egyptian room of the Louvre. His best works after 1815 were portraits, some of which approached the quality of his Napoleonic pictures. He became increasingly dissatisfied with his accomplishments, and he committed suicide. More Antoine-Jean Baron Gros

 Antoine-Jean Gros
The Battle of Abukir, c, 1806
Oil on canvas
578 cm × 968 cm (228 in × 381 in)
Palace of Versailles, Versailles

The painting depicts the battle of Aboukir, that took place on 25 July 1799, when the French Army, led by Napoleon, despite being outnumbered, was able to defeat the Ottoman Empire Army and their British allies, in Egypt. At the center of the composition is the French general Joachim Murat, riding a white horse, with his sword held up high, in a scene of bloody carnage, near the sea, while the Turkish pasha presents him with his sword, as a sign of surrendering, to his right. At the background of the painting a fortress stands, with some ships on the sea. More on this painting

Antoine-Jean Gros (1771–1835)
Battle at Nazareth, c. 1801
Oil on canvas
135 × 195 cm (53.1 × 76.8 in)
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes, France

Napoleon skillfully insisted on naming the battle after the city of Nazareth (even though it actually took place in Loubia) so as to conjure images of the Holy Family and to reinforce the notion of the campaign as a latter-day crusade. More on this painting

Antoine-Jean Gros
Napoleon Haranguing the Army Before the Battle of the Pyramids, c. 1810 
Oil on canvas
Musée National du Château, Versailles

The Battle of the Pyramids, also known as the Battle of Embabeh, was a major engagement fought on 21 July 1798, during the French Invasion of Egypt. The battle took place near the village of Embabeh, across the Nile River from Cairo, but was named by Napoleon after the Great Pyramid of Giza visible nearly 9 miles away.

Bonaparte scored a decisive victory against the main army of the local Mamluk rulers, wiping out almost the entire Ottoman army located in Egypt.

The victory effectively sealed the French conquest of Egypt as Murad Bey salvaged the remnants of his army, chaotically fleeing to Upper Egypt. French casualties amounted to roughly 300, but Ottoman and Mamluk casualties soared into the thousands. Napoleon entered Cairo after the battle and created a new local administration under his supervision. The battle exposed the fundamental military and political decline of the Ottoman Empire throughout the past century, especially compared to the rising power of France. More on The Battle of the Pyramids

Eugène Delacroix 
The Bride of Abydos or Selim and Zuleika. Painting, 1857
Poem written by Lord Byron in 1813. One of his earlier works, The Bride of Abydos is considered to be one of his "Heroic Poems"
Oil on canvas
18 3/4 × 15 3/4 in. (47.6 × 40 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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