Young Oriental woman in an interior
Alexandre Gabriel Decamps (1803-1860)
Bodycolour on paper
Height: 13.4 cm; Width: 9.8 cm;
Signed & pen and ink, lower left & recto, Decamps
Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952
About this work
This fully worked out gouache pertains to the vast body of Orientalist subjects produced during the nineteenth-century, which often focused on representations of harem inmates. Having extensively travelled to the Middle East at a period when it was still an adventurous enterprise, Decamps was highly successful in his time. Abandoned in the act of day-dreaming, the delicate female figure looks intently at a parrot, symbol of a freedom beyond her reach. The jewel-like colours evoke the West’s fantasies of a luxurious Orient.
(Permanent collection label)
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Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London