Ahab's Gate, Ivory Palace, Ancient Sumeria - Original 1873 watercolour painting


An original 1873 watercolour painting, Ahab's Gate, Ivory Palace, Ancient Sumeria.

An attentive watercolour architectural study, painted from life in Ancient Sumeria (now Iraq). On tan coloured paper. 

Unsigned. Dted and inscribed lower left.
In good condition for its age.
14.9cm x 23.3cm.

This collection of watercolours captures the vibrant radiance and perceived exoticism of Egypt before the British occupation of 1882. Painted mainly from life in the spring of 1874, with a focus on land and riverscapes along the Nile and in the ancient ruins in Nubia, it captures the beauty of a country as yet untouched by the aggressive hand of imperialism.

With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, British trade and travel to Egypt grew exponentially, with Cairo in particular seeing an influx of European tourists that flooded to see its ancient tombs and pyramids. Artists especially were drawn to its bright light - the intrepid ones, such as William Holman Hunt, Eugène Delacroix and Jean-Léon Gérôme - made the journey, fuelling the European taste for Orientalist pictures.

The painter of this collection certainly followed in the footsteps of these illustrious forebears, capturing the contrasts that existed between the cool blue of the Nile and hot warmth of the sunset. Handwritten notations on colours indicate that vibrancy was of a particular concern, and the artist successfully captures these various tonalities with a plenitude of skill, detail and interest.

Text copyright © 2017 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JJ-353

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