Large horizontal quadrilateral oil on panel, set in a gilded wooden frame; the subject is an odalisque, one of the sultan's concubines, depicted in a voluptuous pose amid elegant objects inside a hammam. The woman is white with black hair, languidly reclining naked on a silk-upholstered tub lined with flowers at the edge of a pool. She looks directly into the viewer's eyes, her right arm tucked under her head, holding back her hair, her left hand casually caressing her neck, her right leg slightly bent over the other. In the background, a bathing suit is carelessly placed on the louvered back of the bench, which is upholstered with soft cushions and on which a large tambourine is placed. The background reveals the garden for the harem women. Everything here is designed to create an oriental atmosphere that should unsettle the viewer. Unfortunately, the signature is illegible, but we can determine that the artist is a Westerner, accustomed as he is to European culture, in which the masterly representation of nudity in art is considered normal. As the artist paid particular attention to transferring the beauty of the human body, he may not be of the Muslim faith, as the interpretation of this work runs counter to Islamic dogma and painting traditions.
Work of the European orientalist school of the 20th century, probably English. Dimensions; panel width 91cm, height 60.8cm – frame width 109.8cm, height 78.9cm.
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8 800 €