10 Orientalist Paintings by Artists from the 19th Century, with footnotes, #13

Orientalism is a term that is used for the depiction of aspects in Middle Eastern cultures. It refers to the works of the Western artists on Oriental subjects, produced from their travels in Western Asia, during the 19th century. Depictions of Islamic "Moors" and "Turks" can be found in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art. A creative apprehension of a completely different world with its own laws, customs, special attitude towards life and death, love, feelings, and beauty. Wikipedia/Yana Naumovna Lukashevskaya

Victor Huguet, 1835 - 1902, FRENCH
Oil on canvas
118 by 100cm., 46½ by 39¼in
Private Collection

Huguet's painting befits the monumental ravine landscape it depicts: sheer cliffs frame a deep ravine through which a wadi meanders, serving as watering place for a group of Bedouin riders crossing a vast landscape. More on this painting

Victor Pierre Huguet , born Lude the 1 st May 1835 and died in Paris August 16, 1902, was a French, landscape and genre painter.. He was a pupil of Emile Loubon in Marseille and received advice from Fromentin in Paris.

In 1852, aged 17, he traveled to Egypt, then to Crimea where he accompanied Durand-Brager before the siege of Sebastopol. He was profoundly influenced by the landscapes he passes through and that will influence his inspiration to Orientalism, where he soon made a name. Discovering Algeria a few years later, he drew from many sources of inspiration.
He exhibited at the Salons de Marseille and Paris in 1859 and the Salon of French Orientalist Painters at its inception in 1893. He was the leading Orientalist artists of Provence. More Victor Pierre Huguet

Adolf Schreyer, 1828 - 1899, GERMAN
Oil on canvas
81 by 129cm., 32 by 50¾in.
Private Collection

Adolf Schreyer (July 9, 1828 Frankfurt-am-Main – July 29, 1899 Kronberg im Taunus) was a German painter, associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. He studied art, first at the Städel Institute in his native town, and then at Stuttgart and Munich. He painted many of his favourite subjects in his travels in the East. He first accompanied Maximilian Karl, 6th Prince of Thurn and Taxis through Hungary, Wallachia, Russia and Turkey; then, in 1854, he followed the Austrian army across the Wallachian frontier. In 1856 he went to Egypt and Syria, and in 1861 to Algiers. In 1862 he settled in Paris, but returned to Germany in 1870; and settled at Cronberg near Frankfurt, where he died.

Schreyer was, and is still, especially esteemed as a painter of horses, of peasant life in Wallachia and Moldavia, and of battle incidents. His work is remarkable for its excellent equine draughtsmanship, and for the artist's power of observation and forceful statement; and has found particular favour among French and American collectors. Of his battle-pictures there are two at the Schwerin Gallery, and others in the collection of Count Mensdorff-Pouilly and in the Raven Gallery, Berlin. More Adolf Schreyer
Adolf Schreyer, 1828-1899, GERMAN
Oil on canvas
86 by 116cm., 33¾ by 45½in.
Private Collection

Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ, 1842 - 1923, FRENCH
Oil on canvas
38.5 by 30cm., 15 by 12in
Private Collection

The sentinel's Ottoman weapons are observed so faithfully that the artist must have seen them in the original, from the chibouk (Turkish tobacco pipe) with its gilt tophane bowl and mouthpiece and lavender enamelled shaft; to the curved shamshir sword with its horn hilt; and the flintlock rifle with its ivory butt plate. More on the sentinel

Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ (10 June 1842 in Paris – 19 February 1923 in Paris) was an Orientalist French painter and sculptor. He was strongly influenced by the works and teachings of Charles Gleyre and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Lecomte du Nouÿ found inspiration for his art through extensive travels to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Italy. The thematic content of Lecomte du Nouÿ’s work was mainly figural, but also spanned over a vast range of imagery throughout his career, including classical, historical and religious.

Lecomte is known for remaining faithful to his detailed, realistic style throughout the extent of his career, despite the onset of the Impressionist, Fauvist and Constructivist artistic movements during his lifetime. His work is said to have contributed significantly to the establishment of an iconic repertoire representing the Orient in the nineteenth century. A Parisian street was named after him in 1932. More Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ

Rudolf Ernst, 1854-1932, AUSTRIAN
Oil on panel
73 by 58.5cm., 28¾ by 23in.
Private Collection

In this setting Ernst has taken inspiration from the portal of the Sultan Hasan Mosque in Cairo, regarded as the greatest mosque of the medieval Islamic world. Commissioned by Sultan al-Nasir Hasan, construction began in 1356. 

Ernst depicts a side gate to the mosque, with its great copper doors and niche with muqarnas decoration, in whose entrance a fortune teller or sufi mystic dispenses his wisdom to a man wearing a Turco-Egyptian hat known as a tarboosh. Men queue up in their dozens in the the blazing afternoon heat to await their turn to be blessed or enlightened. More the fortune teller

Rudolf Ernst (14 February 1854, Vienna - 1932, Fontenay-aux-Roses) was an Austro-French painter, printmaker and ceramics painter who is best known for his orientalist motifs. He exhibited in Paris under the name "Rodolphe Ernst".

He was the son of an architect and, encouraged by his father, began studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna at the age of fifteen. He spent some time in Rome, copying the old masters, and continued his lessons in Vienna with August Eisenmenger and Anselm Feuerbach.

In 1876, he settled in Paris. The following year, he participated in his first artists' salon. He later made trips to Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Constantinople to study and document what he saw there.

In 1905, he moved to Fontenay-aux-Roses where he set up a shop to produce faience tiles with orientalist themes. He decorated his home in Ottoman style and lived a reclusive life. His exact date of death was apparently not recorded. More Rudolf Ernst 

Alphons Mielich, 1863 - 1929, AUSTRIAN
Oil on panel
61 by 50cm., 24 by 19½in.
Private Collection

Mielich's compositions of Cairene markets, bazaars and cafés offered contemporary audiences an exotic yet faithful view of Egyptian street life. Standing outside a mosque in the Haret el Yahoud district of the city, with the distinctive moon crescent and star motif and decked in wooden ‘alam finials (used as processional standards), three merchants engage in animated negotiation over a group of Moroccan rugs, Rabat, nineteenth-century, and others including kilims folded and stacked in the background. Hanging to the left of the doorway is a silk appliqué panel, Uzbekistan, nineteenth-century, with stylised geometric motifs and an azure blue ground and deep dark brown border. More the merchant

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

Ludwig Deutsch, 1855-1935, AUSTRIAN
Oil on canvas
284 by 294cm., 111¾ by 115¾in.
Private Collection

The procession of the title is wonderfully arranged. Foremost is a dervish, someone who follows a Sufi Muslim tariqa or path. These mendicant ascetics are known for their poverty and austerity. The man’s expressive features portray his participating emotion. Behind him follow other members of the religious community, identified by the colour of their turbans: dark green for the Rifa’iya order, red for the Ahmadiya order, and white for the followers of `Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. With staves in their hands they fan in an arc towards the figure in green, probably a Sufi shaykh and presumably a Sharif, a descendant of the Prophet. This central figure is positioned directly below the Mahmal, the focus of the festive occasion, and a central part in the annual departure and return of the pilgrimage caravan. More Procession of the Mahmal.

Ludwig Deutsch, 1855-1935, was born in Vienna to a well-to-do family. He began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts after completing high school. He studied in the atelier of Alselm Feuerbach along with the painter Rudolf Ernst, his contemporary, who was also an Orientalist and lifelong friend. 

Deutsch decided to move to Paris to continue his studies. Deutsch set up a studio on the Rue Pelletier, and sent a portrait to the Paris Salon in 1879. It was in 1881 that he began painting Orientalist works. He began making paintings that focused on single figures instead of the groups of people that he had been painting before. 

Deutsch traveled to Egypt in 1886 for the first time, resulting in a number of paintings of everyday street scenes. He visited again in 1890, and frequently did so over the next few years. 

Deutsch won the Gold Medal at the Paris Salon in 1900. His work sold well, with buyers being drawn to his incredible attention to detail. He continued painting through the next decade and a half till the outbreak of the First World War, when he was forced to flee Paris. 

Deutsch became a French citizen in around 1919e. Though he was a studio-painter, his travels in Egypt lent color and atmosphere that rendered his paintings authentic. Deutsch continued living and working in Paris till his death in 1935. More Ludwig Deutsch

Ludwig Deutsch
The Della'l, Cairo, 1883
Oil on panel
32.5 by 24.5cm., 12¾ by 9¾in.
Private Collection

single male figure, silhouetted against an architecturally distinctive door or entrance way.  The man’s ankle-length black-and-white striped woolen abāya identifies him as an itinerant worker in this Egyptian scene; he is probably a della’l, or broker, hired by one of the local shopkeepers.  As the noted nineteenth-century Arabic scholar Edward William Lane (1801-1876) explained, “In many of the nooks of Cairo auctions are held on stated days. They are conducted by delláls, or brokers, hired either by persons who have anything they wish to sell in this manner, or by shopkeepers. The Delláls carry the goods up and down, announcing the sums bidden for them with cries of Harraj, harraj, etc." In Deutsch’s painting, the man gestures emphatically and continues his familiar calls, though he has momentarily set down the eclectic array of goods he has been appointed to vend. More on this painting

Georg Emanuel Opiz, 1775 - 1841, GERMAN
Oil on canvas
165.5 by 253cm., 65 by 99½in.
Private Collection

In the foreground a meeting is taking place between a religious leader and an Ottoman official. On the right side of the composition are the Ottoman dignitaries. Mounted on his Arab stallion appears to be an emissary of the Sultan or a governor of the province, behind and beside him are janissaries and soldiers of the Ottoman Court who hold aloft Ottoman flags decorated with the zulfiqar, the sword originally used by the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed. To either side of the flags are the distinctive horsetail plumes (Army Dress Helmets) of the Ottoman tughs. Ottoman officials line up on the emissary's left, at the far end of which appears the head courier of the grand vizier.

Paying homage to the Ottoman party is a senior religious leader, dressed in traditional green robes in the style of the grand mufti, his green garb signifying that he has made the pilgrimage before. Behind him is the court imam, and to their right, in the centre of the composition, mounted on the highly decorated camel is the mahmal, the elaborate coffer containing the Koran that accompanies the pilgrims to Mecca. To the left of the camel three dervishes, distinguished by their hair-styles and conical hats, survey the mahmal and dignitaries before them. More THE MAHMAL AT AN OASIS

Georg Emanuel Opiz (born 4 April 1775 in Prague , 12 July 1841 in Leipzig ). He studied in Dresden and later Vienna where he is said to have been a pupil of Francesco Guiseppi Casanova (1727-1803), a painter of battle pieces. In his early years Opiz concentrated his practice around portraiture, and he later became a skilled miniaturist, water colourist, and engraver. From 1807, he specialised in satirical genre scenes, many of them in Paris, where he travelled in 1814 in the retinue of the Duchesse de Courlande. He later worked in Heidelberg and Altenberg, settling in Leipzig in 1820. With his extensive travels around Europe, his subject matter changed to military and genre painting, and included large scale history paintings of military ceremonies in Sweden, Denmark, England and Russia, although few are known to have survived. More Georg Emanuel Opiz

Eugène-Alexis Giradet
Mending, c. 1896
Oil on canvas
18 1/4 by 21 3/4 in., 46.3 by 55.2 cm
Private collection

Eugène Alexis Girardet (31 May 1853, Paris - 5 May 1907, Paris) was a French Orientalist painter, who came from a Swiss Huguenot family. He studied at the École des Beaux-arts and in the studios of Jean-Léon Gérôme, who encouraged him to visit North Africa in 1874.

In all, he made eight trips to Algeria after 1879, especially to the south, around the oases of Biskra, El Kantara and Bou Saâda.  In 1898, he visited Egypt and Palestine, producing many works depicting the lives of desert nomads.

He exhibited regularly at the Salon and with the Société des Peintres Orientalistes Français (of which he was one of the founding members), with major shows at the Exposition Universelle (1900) and the Exposition Coloniale de Marseille of 1906. More Eugène Alexis Girardet 

Acknowledgement: Sotheby's, and others

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