12 Orientalist Paintings by Artists from the 19th Century, with footnotes, #17

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

Arthur Melville, (1858–1904)
A Moorish Procession, Tangier, c. 1893
Watercolour on paper
59.30 x 79.80 cm
National Galleries of Scotland

Melville conveys the atmospheric clamour of a local parade led by drummers and pipers. He evokes its exotic character, underlined by the colourful clothes and hooded cloaks of the participants, with his 'blottesque' technique. The resulting blurred edges and striking accents of pure colour, from pigment applied onto wet paper, suggest a wonderful sense of movement in brilliant sunlight. The vibrant city of Tangier attracted many artists, and Melville, inspired by his friend the painter Joseph Crawhall, visited it twice in the spring of 1890 and 1893. More on this painting

Arthur Melville (1858–1904) was a Scottish painter, best remembered for his Orientalist subjects. He was born in Guthrie, Angus in 1858 and brought up in East Lothian. He attended the Royal Scottish Academy Schools before studying in Paris and Greece. The colour-sense which is so notable a feature of his work developed during his travels in Persia, Egypt and Turkey between 1880 and 1882. To convey strong Middle Eastern light, he developed a technique of using watercolour on a base of wet paper with gouache applied to it.

Melville, little known during his lifetime, was one of the most powerful influences in the contemporary art of his day, especially in his broad decorative treatment with water-colour, which influenced the Glasgow Boys. Though his vivid impressions of color and movement are apparently recorded with feverish haste, they are the result of careful deliberation and selection. He was at his best in his watercolors of Eastern life and colour and his Venetian scenes, but he also painted several striking portraits in oils. More on Arthur Melville

ALFRED AGACHE (1843 - 1915)
Enigme, c.  1888
Oil on canvas, 
2,80 m x 1,69 m, 
Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen.

The title of the work, Enigma, is explicit: the picture itself is this enigma. In the Salon of 1888 where it is presented, it is was accompanied by a poem by Edmond Haraucourt (1856-1941)  "Priestess of the enigma and daughter of the mystery / I keep under heaven the secrets which he wishes to make / And I know the future as a fait accompli. / But I have closed my austere soul / In the pride of silence and the peace of forgetfulness. ".

The modernity of the energetic pattern of this canvas still strikes us today; The planes are largely brushed and articulated angularly. The contrasts of light and color are brought to their paroxysm. The iconographic elements are rare and deliberately chosen, whether it be the Egyptian motif painted on the wall or the admirable giant poppy flowers, the red blood of which slices on the orange of the background. 

ALFRED AGACHE, (1843 - 1915)
Enigme, c.  1888

This mysterious woman could be a Parque, a subject dear to Agache, or Isis as the hieroglyphic suggests, or an archetype of the femme fatale. In any case this flower of forgetfulness thrown on the steps, this mask that the woman has just taken off. More on Enigma

Alfred-Pierre Joseph Agache (29 August 1843 – 15 September 1915), also known simply as Alfred Agache, was a French academic painter. Little is known of Agache's life. He was born in Lille, France, and exhibited his work frequently in Paris until his death. He seems to have specialized in portraits and large-scale allegorical paintings. He was a member of the Société des Artistes Français, and won a third-class medal in 1885 for his work. He may have been friends with American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler and French writer Auguste Angellier; the latter dedicated a book to him around 1893.

Two of his pieces, "Vanity" and "The Annunciation", were shown at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur. He died in Lille in 1915. More on Alfred-Pierre Joseph Agache

Alfred Choubrac, PARIS 1853 - 1902
Oil on canvas
131 x 90 cm 51 1/2 by 35 1/2 in.
Private collection

Alfred Choubrac (1853–1902) was a French painter, illustrator, draughtsman, and poster artist.

His posters were very influential and famous during World War II. His most famous poster is that of Au Joyeux Moulin Rouge, based on the popular Parisian nightclub Moulin Rouge. He contributed to the satirical weekly Le Courrier français.

He was the younger brother of Léon Choubrac, also a poster artist. More on Alfred Choubrac

Oliver Dennett Grover, 1861 - 1927
Harem Scene (also known as The Finishing Touch), c. 1899
Oil on canvas 
195.58 cm (77 in.), Width: 167.64 cm (66 in.)
Swope Art Museum  (United States - Terre Haute, Indiana)

Oliver Dennett Grover (1861 Earlville, Illinois – 1927 Chicago), was an American landscape and mural painter. Grover's family moved to Chicago early in his life. There he spent much of his time sketching at the Academy of Design. Showing great promise he was enrolled at Munich’s Royal Academy in 1879, where he studied under Frank Duveneck. At the age of 19 he exhibited at Munich’s International Exposition. Grover followed Duveneck to Venice and Florence, and then went on to study in Paris from 1883 to 1885 under Gustave Boulanger, Jean-Paul Laurens and Lefebvre.

He returned to Chicago in 1885 and was appointed as an instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago for five years, also opening a studio and founding the Western Art Association. Between 1887 and 1892 he served on the faculty of the Chicago Art Academy. Ada Walter Shulz was among his pupils.

Grover became an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1913. During the last years of his life, he also became a board member of the Association of Arts and Industries which was a major influence in Chicago design in the 1920s and 1930s.  More on Oliver Dennett Grover

Oil on canvas
55.5 by 46.5cm., 22 by 18¼in.
Private collection

An odalisque was a chambermaid or a female attendant in a Turkish seraglio, particularly the court ladies in the household of the Ottoman sultan. An odalık was not a concubine of the harem, but a maid, although it was possible that she could become one. An odalık was ranked at the bottom of the social stratification of a harem, serving not the man of the household, but rather, his concubines and wives as personal chambermaids. Odalık were usually slaves given as gifts to the sultan by wealthy Turkish men. Generally, an odalık was never seen by the sultan but instead remained under the direct supervision of his mother, the Valide Sultan. More on An odalisque

Guillaum Seignac (1870–1924) was a French academic painter. He was born in Rennes in 1870, and died in Paris in 1924. He started training at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he spent 1889 through 1895. He had many teachers there, including Gabriel Ferrier, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Tony Robert-Fleury. In addition to his training in the academic style, much of Seignac's work displayed classical themes and style, for example, his use of diaphanous drapery covering a woman's body is reminiscent of classical style, in particular the sculptor Phidias. In 1897, Guillaume Seignac regularly exhibited at the Salon and won several honors, including in 1900 honorable mention and in 1903 a Third Class medal. More Guillaum Seignac

Jean-Léon Gérôme, French, 1824-1904
Oil on canvas
70 by 100.5cm., 27 1/2 by 39 1/2 in.
Private collection

This splendid evocation of ladies lounging around an octagonal hot pool in a Turkish bath is set under the great dome of the caldarium in Yeni Kaplica, Bursa’s ‘New Baths’ built in 1552 from designs possibly by the Master Builder Sinan. Bursa had been the ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire before the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. By the time the present work was executed in 1885 Gérôme had moved away from heroic history painting towards archeological accuracy and objective realism. More on this painting

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

Idle Moments, c. 1888
Oil on canvas
54 by 65cm., 21¼ by 25¾in.
Private collection

Georges Antoine Rochegrosse (1859–1938) was a French historical and decorative painter. He was born at Versailles and studied in Paris with Jules Joseph Lefebvre and Gustave Clarence Rodolphe Boulanger. His themes are generally historical, and he treated them on a colossal scale and in an emotional naturalistic style, with a distinct revelling in horrible subjects and details. He made his Paris Salon début in 1882 with Vitellis traîné dans les rues de Rome par la populace (Vitellius dragged through the streets of Rome by the people) (1882; Sens). He followed this the year afterwards with Andromaque (1882–83; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen), which won that year's prestigious Prix du Salon. There followed La Jacquerie (1885; Untraced), Le mort de Babylone (The fall of Babylon) (1891; Untraced), The death of the Emperor Geta (1899; Musée de Picardie, Amiens), and Barbarian ambassadors at the Court of Justinian (1907; untraced), all of which exemplify his strong and spirited but sensational and often brutal painting. In quite another style and beautiful in color is his Le Chevalier aux Fleurs (The Knight of Flowers) (1894; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; RF 898). More on Georges Antoine Rochegrosse

The storyteller
Oil on canvas
58 by 41cm., 23 by 16in.
Private collection

Ricardo Villegas Cordero ( Seville , 1849 - 1896 ) was a Spanish painter. He was the brother of painter Jose Villegas Cordero , better known than he. 2 He drowned in the river Guadalquivir , after falling from the boat where he traveled.

His presented works at the National Exhibition of 1887. He received a gold medal second class at the International Exhibition of Munich in 1888. In the National Exhibition of 1890 he presented a painting titled La muerte de Viriato , which represented the assassination of the Lusitanian leader. He also produced painting in the orientalist and North African Style. More on Ricardo Villegas Cordero 

Lalla Essaydi, Moroccan, b. 1956
Les Femmes du Maroc: Harem #11, 2009
Chromogenic prints (c-print) mounted on aluminum, in three parts
40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm.)
Private collection

Moroccan born photographer Lalla Essaydi explores Arab female identity by hand-painting Arabic calligraphy in henna on different surfaces such as female bodies, fabric and walls. Through her compositions, Essaydi references nineteenth century Orientalist style and rejects traditional objectified representations of Arab women. The artist critiques French painters such as Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and Eugène Delacroix who often painted middle-eastern harems filled with eroticized Arab female bodies. Her photographs address and deconstruct the complex power structures imposed on the Arab female body by alluding to historical stereotypes. 

Lalla Essaydi, Moroccan, b. 1956
Harem, #12

In her series Harem, Essaydi refers to the dangerous nature of the harem, contrasting the idealistic setting that Western artists previously depicted. The artist places her figures within the Moroccan Palace Dar El Basha and dresses them in patterns similar to the palace’s mosaics, wood carvings and stained glass. By camouflaging the women’s bodies into the background, Essaydi illustrates how women seemingly appear as another piece of décor in the room. To counter societal norms, Essaydi utilizes calligraphy and applies henna to adorn the female bodies. The text is not necessarily meant to be read or understood, but rather alludes symbolically to the restrictions faced by women in today’s societies and how they find their voice despite all imposed restrictions. Through the perspective of an Arab woman living in a Western world, Lalla Essaydi redefines Arab female identity. More on Lalla Essaydi

Lalla Essaydi, Moroccan, b. 1956
Harem, #15 (2009)

Théodore Chassériau,  (1819–1856)
Orientalist Interior: Nude in a Harem, c. between 1850 and 1852
Oil on panel
Height: 46 cm (18.1 in). Width: 38 cm (15 in).
Private collection

Théodore Chassériau (September 20, 1819 – October 8, 1856) was a French Romantic painter noted for his portraits, historical and religious paintings, allegorical murals, and Orientalist images inspired by his travels to Algeria.

Chassériau was born in El Limón, Samaná, in the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic). In December 1820 the family left Santo Domingo for Paris, where the young Chassériau soon showed precocious drawing skills. He was accepted into the studio of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in 1830, at the age of eleven, and became the favorite pupil of the great classicist, who regarded him as his truest disciple.

After Ingres left Paris in 1834 to become director of the French Academy in Rome, Chassériau fell under the influence of Eugène Delacroix, whose brand of painterly colorism was anathema to Ingres. Chassériau's art has often been characterized as an attempt to reconcile the classicism of Ingres with the romanticism of Delacroix. He first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1836, and was awarded a third-place medal in the category of history painting. In 1840 Chassériau travelled to Rome and met with Ingres, whose bitterness at the direction his student's work was taking led to a decisive break.

In 1846 Chassériau made his first trip to Algeria. From sketches made on this and subsequent trips he painted such subjects as Arab Chiefs Visiting Their Vassals and Jewish Women on a Balcony...

After a period of ill health, exacerbated by his exhausting work on commissions for murals to decorate the Churches of Saint-Roch and Saint-Philippe-du-Roule, Chassériau died at the age of 37 in Paris, on October 8, 1856. More on Théodore Chassériau

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12 Paintings, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 3

 Published in Bonestéve, printed by Henri Baconnier, Algiers
Dimensions: 32 x 41 cm
Private Collection

Lithograph depicting the family tree of Prophet Muhammad. With two windows on either side of the tree depicting holy scenes of Ka'aba and the tomb and mosque of the Prophet.

Lalla Essaydi, (Moroccan, b. 1956) 
Converging Territories #38, c. 2003
40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm.)
Private Collection

Lalla Essaydi’s (Moroccan, b. 1956) work delves into the complexity of identity and is deeply influenced by her personal experiences. Blending Western aesthetic with Orientalist imagery, she works in a variety of mediums. Essaydi’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Louvre, Paris, France; the Chicago Art Institute; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Los  Angeles County Museum of Art; among others. More Lalla Essaydi

 Aydin Aghdashloo, (Iran, born 1940)
Memories of Destruction, c. 2010
Oil on canvas
200 x 140cm (78 3/4 x 55 1/8in).
Private Collection

Aydin Aghdashloo (born October 30, 1940) is an Iranian painter, graphist, writer, film critic and one of the known artists of Iranian modern and contemporary art. His art works are known for showing the thought of gradual death and doom and also recreating remarkable classic works in a modern and surreal form. His two series Termination Memories and Years of Fire and Snow (below) are considered part of the most important series of modern Iranian art.

Aydin Aghdashloo, (Iran, born 1940) 
Memories of Ice & Fire III
from the series Memories of Devastation, 1980
Private Collection

Aghdashloo began designing, graphics and painting since adolescence and became the painter of Iranian textbooks, magazines and private institutions in youth. For a while, he directed the cultural and artistic affairs of "Special Office of Queen Farah Pahlavi" and helped collecting Iranian and global artworks. He was also involved in launching Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and Reza Abbasi Museum, and directed the latter for a while. After the revolution, Aghdashloo is considered one of the most famous painting masters for the third generation modern Iranian painters. More on Aydin Aghdashloo

Aydin Aghdashloo, (Iran, born 1940) 
Enigma VII, Enigma VIII
 Gouache on Board
56 X 76 cm (each)
Private Collection

Abdul Kadir Al Rassam, (Iraq, 1882-1952)
Taq-i Kisra
Oil on canvas
22.9 x 28.5cm (9 x 11 1/4in).
Private UK collection.

The Taq-i Kisra is the only remaining visible structure found in the ancient city of Ctesiphon and was constructed during the reign of the Persian King Khosrau I around 540 A.D. The arch was part of the Imperial palace complex and was the largest to be built in the Persian Empire, standing thirty meters high.

Ctesiphon was located on the east bank of the river Tigris, around 35km south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad and functioned as the capital of both the Parthian and Sassanian Empires before being abandoned around the 8th century. More on Taq-i Kisra

Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, (Iran, b. 1937)
Oil and metallic paint on canvas
,146 x 97cm (57 1/2 x 38 3/16in).
Private Collection

Michel Tapié was an important critic in the post-war French art scene. In 1952 he introduced a key concept, that of L'Art Autre (other art), in which he explained that over and above representation, one has to change one's value system in order to appreciate art. 

This was Tapié's discovery of the Iranian avant-garde of which Zenderoudi was at the forefront. The encounter was significant to the extent that Tapié became Zenderoudi's advisor between 1971 and 1975, "La Maison de l'Iran", Galerie Cyrus. For Tapié, Middle Eastern calligraphy had an abstract power which offered 'abstract spaces', making it a striking art form during these years of turbulence in aesthetics. In this turbulence he saw not a break but a continuity with the past in the midst of the ever-changing values of the present day. More on this work

Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (born 1937 Tehran) is an Iranian painter and sculptor, known especially as a pioneer of Iranian modern art.

Zenderoudi went to the College of Fine Arts and the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran and has had work exhibited in various parts of the world including Paris (1959-1563), Tehran (1960-1966), Sao Paulo (1963), and Venice (1964). The influence of Iranian Shi'ite folk art was seen in his exhibition at the Third Tehrān Biennale; the works were made up of geometric shapes and decorated with calligraphy. In fact, the term Saqqakhana was first used by the Iranian critic Karim Emami to describe Zenderoudi's art. Zenderoudi's interest in calligraphy was developed further in his works of the late 1960s and 1970s. More on Charles Hossein Zenderoudi 

Lorna Selim, (Iraq, born 1928)

Three Spirits, c. 1966
Oil on board
44.4 x 34.2cm (17 1/2 x 13 7/16in).
Private Collection

Samir Rafi, (Egypt, 1926-2004)
Untitled, c. 1873
Oil and pencil on board
98.5 x 79.8cm (38 3/4 x 31 7/16in).
Private Collection

Samir Rafi's  (Egypt, 1926-2004) talent was discovered early on in his life which prompted his teacher Hussein Youssef Amin, the founder of the 'Group of Contemporary Arts', to organize the artist's first exhibition in 1943. A work from this exhibition was acquired by the Art Museum of the Ministry of Education. Rafi continued his education and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Cairo in 1948. 

In the late 1940s Rafi joined Amin's Group of Contemporary Arts. The artistic objective of the members was to employ authentic Egyptian traditions in their art by applying popular symbols and philosophy, in order to counter imported and Orientalist trends, thus producing an indigenous form of contemporary art. Rafi's works of the 1950's were described as fresh, vibrant and daring.

Unlike his contemporaries, Rafi's works do not include elements of traditional Egyptian culture and symbology. Most of his work revolves around the relationships between men and women in a cosmopolitan environment.

Throughout his career Rafi repeated the subject matter of the woman figure with a wolf which was intended to symbolize unfaithfulness. Many of his paintings reflected an angry and serious theme. In the current work he has chosen to merge the faces of the wolf and the woman in a very distinct surrealist style. More on Samir Rafi's 

Adel El-Siwi, (Egypt, born 1952)
Umm Kalthom, c. 2007
Acrylic on canvas laid down on board
170 x 140cm (66 15/16 x 55 1/8in).
Private Collection

Umm Kulthum (December 31, 1898, or May 4, 1904, died February 3, 1975) was an internationally famous Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress active from the 1920s to the 1970s. She was given the honorific title Kawkab al-Sharq ("Star of the East"). Known for her extraordinary vocal ability and style, Umm Kulthum was one of the greatest and most influential Arab singers of the 20th century. She has sold over 80 million records worldwide. More no Umm Kulthum

Adel El Siwi born in 1952 in Beheira, Egypt. He studied medicine at Cairo University between 1970 and 1976, but simultaneously indulged in independent study at the faculty of fine arts between 1974 and 1975. In 1980 he relocated to Milan in Italy, where he lived and worked for a decade before moving back to Cairo, where he continues to live and work.
His work has been included in a number of group exhibitions. He was invited by “Le Laboratoire: Sculpture Urbaine” to project his work onto historical buildings in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1996), Grenoble, France (2000), Alger, Algeria, (2003).

In addition to his career as a visual artist, El Siwi has translated numerous art historical texts into Arabic by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Paul Klee. More on Adel El Siwi

 Safwan Dahoul, (Syria, born 1961)
Reve/ Dream, c. 2007
Acrylic on canvas
80 x 179cm (70 7/8 x 70 1/2in).
Private Collection

Safwan Dahoul, born in 1961 in Hama, Syria, Dahoul was initially trained by leading modernists at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Damascus before travelling to Belgium, where he earned a doctorate from the Higher Institute of Plastic Arts in Mons. Upon returning to Syria, he began teaching at the Faculty of Fine Arts and was a prominent member of the Damascus art scene. In the span of a decade, Dahoul nurtured a new generation of artists as an active mentor whose evolving aesthetic often ignited new directions in painting. Given the trajectory and status of his painting style, Dahoul’s career is regarded as a crucial link between modern and contemporary Arab art.

Since the late 1980s, Dahoul’s ongoing Dream series has explored the physical and psychological effects of alienation, solitude, and longing that punctuate the human experience at various stages in life. Partly autobiographical, this seminal body of work uses the formal properties of painting to recreate the subconscious sense of enclosure that surfaces during times of crisis. The artist’s recurring female protagonist facilitates this visceral experience through her contorted body, often-vacant eyes, and minimised yet monumental physicality. Depicted in the confinement of ambiguous settings, her presence is defined by the placement of various objects that seem to deepen the state of her disaffection, as even the familiar becomes a trigger of distress. More on Safwan Dahoul

Bahman Jalali, (Iran, born 1944)
Reverse oil painting and silkscreen print on chemically altered mirror
68.7 x 68.6cm (27 1/16 x 27in)
Private Collection

Bahman Jalali (1944 – 15 January 2010) was an Iranian photographer who played a significant role in educating a new generation of Iranian photographers. He taught photography at several universities in Iran over a 30-year period.

Jalali graduated with a degree in Economics from Melli University in Tehran, then started his career as a photographer in 1972. In 1974 he joined the Royal Photographic Society in Great Britain. He is best known for his documentary photographs from the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and from the Iran-Iraq war, but after the revolution he focused more on teaching photography at Iranian universities than practicing it. Jalali was a founding member and curator at the Museum of Photography in Tehran.

Bahman Jalali (Iran, born 1944)
Image of Imagination 2, c. 2000-2008
Archival digital pigment print
31 1/2 × 31 1/2 in, 80 × 80 cm
Private Collection

His last work was a photo series called "Image of Imaginations" (above), which took three years (2003–2006) for him to complete. The Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes bought this photo series for their collection.

Jalali was given a special homage for his forty-year career in photography by the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona. He was a contributor to the exhibition in the British Museum, London, "Word into Art : Artists of the Modern Middle East" in 2006.

Until the end of his life, Jalali was a member of the editorial board for Aksnameh, a bi-monthly journal of photography in Tehran.

The veteran photographer was being treated for pancreatic cancer in Germany. He returned to his home in Tehran on 14 January 2010 and died the next morning at the age of 65. More on Bahman Jalali

Acknowledgement: Albahie Auction HouseBonhams and others

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.

08 Orientalist Paintings by Artists from the 19th Century, with footnotes, #18

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

Edouard Frederic Wilhelm Richter,1844 - 1913 
Oil on canvas
Height: 151 cm (59.45 in.), Width: 211.5 cm (83.27 in.)
Private collection

Scheherazade is a character and the storyteller in One Thousand and One Nights. This book includes the tales of Aladdin, Ali Baba and many more.

The story goes that Shahryar found out one day that his first wife was unfaithful to him. Therefore, he resolved to marry a new virgin each day as well as behead the previous day's wife, so that she would have no chance to be unfaithful to him. He had killed 1,000 such women by the time he was introduced to Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter.

"Scheherazade had perused the books, annals and legends of preceding Kings, and the stories, examples and instances of bygone men and things; indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of histories relating to antique races and departed rulers. She had perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplishments; and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred."

Edouard Frederic Wilhelm Richter,1844 - 1913 

Against her father's wishes, Scheherazade volunteered to spend one night with the king. Once in the king's chambers, Scheherazade asked if she might bid one last farewell to her beloved sister, Dunyazade, who had secretly been prepared to ask Scheherazade to tell a story during the long night. The king lay awake and listened with awe as Scheherazade told her first story. The night passed by, and Scheherazade stopped in the middle of the story. The king asked her to finish, but Scheherazade said there was no time, as dawn was breaking. So, the king spared her life for one day to finish the story the next night. The following night, Scheherazade finished the story and then began a second, even more exciting tale, which she again stopped halfway through at dawn. Again, the king spared her life for one more day so she could finish the second story.

And so the king kept Scheherazade alive day by day, as he eagerly anticipated the finishing of the previous night's story. At the end of 1,001 nights, and 1,000 stories, Scheherazade told the king that she had no more tales to tell him. During these 1,001 nights, the king had fallen in love with Scheherazade. He spared her life, and made her his queen. More on Scheherazade

Édouard Frédéric Wilhelm Richter , born on June 18, 1844 in Paris, where he died on March 4, 1913 to a Dutch mother and German father. His extensive artistic education took him to the Hague Academy, then to Antwerp and finally to the Académie de Beaux-Arts in Paris where he trained under Léon Bonnat. Richter first exhibited a still-life at the Salon in 1866 and received honourable mention. However for the following fifty years, he submitted a range of subject matter including portraits, historical genre scenes and more specifically Orientalist subjects. 

Richter's favourite subject was the female. Whether European or Middle Eastern, he illustrated dignified, yet languid beauties at the centre of his compositions. His Orientalist subjects demonstrate a certain studied theatricality in the gesture of the figures and the composition as seen in the present lot, as well as an exquisite handling of the textures and colours. The young woman dressed in elaborate clothes is posed in front of a window. The sunlight defines the silhouette of body and adds an ethereal halo. The delicacy of her placed fingers and the soft pink in her dress contrasts with the geometric and vibrant design of the mosaics encircling her. More on Édouard Frédéric Wilhelm Richter

Edouard Frederic Wilhelm Richter,1844 - 1913 
A Moorish Dancer, c. 1877
Oil on canvas
Height: 92 cm (36.22 in.), Width: 74 cm (29.13 in.)
Private collection

Edouard Frederic Wilhelm Richter,1844 - 1913, see above

John William Waterhouse, 1849 - 1917
Oil on canvas
46 by 27cm., 18 by 10½in
Private collection

John William Waterhouse (April 6, 1849 – February 10, 1917) was an English painter known for working in the Pre-Raphaelite style. He worked several decades after the breakup of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its heyday in the mid-nineteenth century, leading to his sobriquet "the modern Pre-Raphaelite". Borrowing stylistic influences not only from the earlier Pre-Raphaelites but also from his contemporaries, the Impressionists, his artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.
Born in Italy to English parents who were both painters, he later moved to London, where he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Art. He soon began exhibiting at their annual summer exhibitions, focusing on the creation of large canvas works depicting scenes from the daily life and mythology of ancient Greece. Later on in his career he came to embrace the Pre-Raphaelite style of painting despite the fact that it had gone out of fashion in the British art scene several decades before. More on John William Waterhouse

Léon François Comerre, 1850 - 1916
Femme au tambourin
oil on canvas
48 ½ x 30 3/8 in. (123 x 77 cm.)
Private collection

Léon François Comerre (10 October 1850 – 20 February 1916) was a French academic painter, famous for his portraits of beautiful women. Comerre was born in Trélon, in the Département du Nord, the son of a schoolteacher. He moved to Lille with his family in 1853. From an early age he showed an interest in art and became a student of Alphonse Colas at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lille, winning a gold medal in 1867. From 1868 a grant from the Département du Nord allowed him to continue his studies in Paris at the famous École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Alexandre Cabanel. There he came under the influence of orientalism.

Comerre first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1871 and went on to win prizes in 1875 and 1881. In 1875 he won the Grand Prix de Rome. This led to a scholarship at the French Academy in Rome from January 1876 to December 1879. In 1885 he won a prize at the "Exposition Universelle" in Antwerp. He also won prestigious art prizes in the USA (1876) and Australia (1881 and 1897). He became a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1903.

Gustav Bauernfeind, German, 1848 - 1904
Market in Jaffa, c. 1887
Oil on canvas
82 by 109cm., 32 by 43in.
Private collection

Market in Jaffa, now a part of Tel Aviv, was painted by Gustav Bauernfeind in 1887. Bauernfeind was extremely brave to paint in cities like Jaffa and Damascus. Jaffa was frequently under quarantine for plague and westerners could be attacked in the streets of Damascus by religious zealots. Bauernfeind would show up in these cities in western dress with bulky photographic equipment and somehow survive and get his work done. More on Market in Jaffa

Gustav Bauernfeind (4 September 1848, Sulz am Neckar - 24 December 1904, Jerusalem) was a German painter, illustrator and architect. He is considered to be one of the most notable Orientalist painters of Germany.

After completing his architectural studies in Stuttgart, he worked in the architectural firm of Professor Wilhelm Bäumer and later in that of Adolph Gnauth, where he also learned painting. In his earlier paintings, Bauernfeind focused on local views of Germany, as well as motifs from Italy. During his journey to the Levant from 1880 to 1882, he became interested in the Orient and repeated his travels again and again. In 1896 he moved with his wife and son all the way to Palestine and subsequently settled in Jerusalem in 1898. He also lived and worked in Lebanon and Syria.

Gustav Bauernfeind, (German, 1848–1904)
The market in Jaffa, 1887
39 x 53 cm. (15.4 x 20.9 in.)
Private collection

His work is characterized primarily by architectural views of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The paintings of Bauernfeind are mostly meticulously crafted, intricately composed and almost photographically accurate cityscapes and images of known sanctuaries in oil. In addition, he produced landscape scenes and watercolours. During his lifetime he was the most popular Orientalist painter of Germany, but soon fell into oblivion after his death. However, since the early 1980s, Bauernfeind was gradually rediscovered. At his birthplace in Sulz am Neckar, the life and work of the painter is commemorated by the Gustav Bauernfeind Museum with a large permanent exhibition. More Gustav Bauernfeind

Edward Lear, 1812-1888
The Cedars of Lebanon, c. 1861
Oil on canvas
68cm high x 113.50cm (44.69 inches)

The cedar of Lebanon was prized throughout the ancient Near East. The Palermo Stone indicates cedar was imported to Egypt in the reign of the 4th dynasty king Sneferu, ca. 2613-2589 BC. One of its primary uses was for boat construction.

Commonly referred to in Scripture as the cedars of Lebanon, this aromatic, durable wood was highly desirable for building in Iron Age Israel. David used in it building his palace, and Solomon used it in the construction of the temple and a palace for himself. More history of the Cedars of Lebanon.

Edward Lear, 1812-1888
The Cedars of Lebanon, c. 1858
A preliminary sketch for the painting (above)
Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge

Although Lear had travelled in the Middle East, and indeed undertook his most extensive tour there in 1858, his time was limited. As in the case of other pictures, he found he still needed a more leisurely contemplation in order to work up his landscapes: "Individual foreground details and studies of foliage were often painted from local sources". Thus, to complete a view of the Cedars of Lebanon that had so impressed him, he went looking for good specimens when home again in England. Fortunately, some such specimens were to be found within easy reach of London. Lear could hardly have done better than the ancient and famous cedar trees on the estate of the Oatlands Park Hotel in north Surrey. The most imposing one now has a sign on it, that reads, "This is one of the first Cedars of Lebanon imported into England. It is believed to have been planted here by Prince Henry Otelands, the youngest son of King Charles the First." More on The Cedars of Lebanon

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