Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 15

Collecting guide: Orientalist Art

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 11 luglio 2017

Orientalist Art2Orientalist ArtThe start of Orientalism coincided with the Romantic age, and its biggest star was Eugène Delacroix. In works such as Massacre at Chios (1824), The Death of Sardanapalus (1827) and The Fanatics of Tangier (1838), he depicted the East as a place of unbridled sensuality, wilful violence and extreme emotions.Over time, however, visions became much less tumultuous and much more beguiling. Genre scenes became the norm, reflecting everyday life in these faraway lands. Subjects — usually looking relaxed and content — included rug merchants, men at prayer, hookah smokers, chess players and traders in a bustling market.
Eugene Delacroix, Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Fredrick Lewis, Gustav Bauernfeind and Ludwig Deutsch are the names that appear at the top of any serious collector’s wish list.
According to Arne Everwijn, Director of 19th Century European Art at Christie’s, Franco-Austrian painter Rudolf Ernst, is ‘certainly right up there’. Ernst, he says, ‘was the master of verisimilitude. His paintings are so lifelike that patrons felt they could step right into them and be in the Middle East.
Orientalist Art1Rudolf Ernst (Austrian, 1854-1932). This lot is offered in 19th Century European & Orientalist Art on 13 July 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street ‘His concern was never ethnographic accuracy — this was a man who freely juxtaposed objects from different cultures [such as the Syrian lamp, Ottoman sash and Hispano-Moresque architecture in Tending the Lamp, above]. His aim, instead, was to dazzle viewers with pictures that had an almost tactile quality, so polished were his painted surfaces.
Gustav Bauernfeind (German, 1848-1904), The Gate of the Great Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, 1890. Oil on panel. 47⅝ x 38 in (121 x 96.5 cm). Sold for £2,505,250 on 2 July 2008 at Christie’s London.‘Then there is also Ludwig Deutsch [below], a quite supreme colourist,’ continues Everwijn. ‘His colours are so bold — they jump out at you and give a real sense of the richness of Eastern lands.’
Very broadly speaking, British artists tended to stick to the reality of what they saw before them. David Roberts (whose Jerusalem, from the South, below, as sold at Christie’s in June 2016) is a good example: his paintings of people at historical sites are characterised by their topographical precision. (foto: Orientalist Art) (by Christie’s)

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