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Arab Prayer - Ettore Cercone (1850-1896)
Arab Prayer - Ettore Cercone (1850-1896) - Paintings & Drawings Style Arab Prayer - Ettore Cercone (1850-1896) -
Ref : 111298
7 800 €
Period :
19th century
Artist :
Ettore Cercone (1850-1896)
Provenance :
Medium :
Oil on panel
Dimensions :
l. 7.8 inch X H. 11.14 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Arab Prayer - Ettore Cercone (1850-1896)
Desmet Galerie

Classical Sculpture

+32 (0)486 02 16 09
Arab Prayer - Ettore Cercone (1850-1896)

Oil on Panel
Naples, 1889
Ettore Cercone (1850-1896)
Signed: ‘E. Cercone 89’
Panel stamped: ‘G. Tipaldi Napoli’

H 28,3 x W 19,8 cm
H 11 1/8 x W 7 4/5 inch

Ettore Cercone, the Italian artist known for his evocative works of the late 19th century, left an enduring legacy in the world of art. Born on 21 November 1850 in Messina, Cercone's life journey—from his early days in the navy to his devotion to painting—shaped his artistic vision. His painting "Arab Praying," created in 1889, stands as a testament to his deep connection with Orientalist themes.

Among Cercone's captivating works, "Arab Praying" emerges as a striking portrayal of a moment steeped in cultural and spiritual significance. Painted in oil on panel in 1889, this piece invites viewers into the world of a man dressed in traditional Arab attire—complete with a turban and robe—as he engages in prayer. The man's posture, seated on a carpet with his back towards the viewer, exudes a sense of solemn devotion and quiet introspection.

In "Arab Praying," Cercone masterfully captures the essence of a cultural ritual, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Arab traditions. The intricate details of the man's clothing, the patterned carpet beneath him, and the subtle interplay of light and shadow create a scene of both intimacy and reverence. Through this painting, Cercone transports us to a moment frozen in time, where the act of prayer becomes a universal language of spiritual connection.

Cercone's artistic journey was intertwined with a diverse and adventurous life. A career in the navy led him to travel the seas, where he painted scenes such as the Governolo during the Battle of Lissa in 1866. His passion for marine life also blossomed during his time in the West Indies, where he collected specimens for the "Aquarium" station in Naples.
It was during his tenure at the "Aquarium" in 1883 and 1884 that Cercone found a deepening devotion to painting. His ties to Naples remained strong, with the city serving as a backdrop for much of his artistic exploration. In 1880, he produced a series of nine paintings featuring Arabic figures, foreshadowing his later focus on Orientalist themes.

Cercone's paintings bear clear traces of the Neapolitan artistic culture of the late 19th century, drawing inspiration from artists like Domenico Morelli. The allure of Orientalist themes, popular among the bourgeois society of the time, captured Cercone's imagination. "Arab Praying" exemplifies this fascination, blending the artist's technical skill with a deep respect for the cultural nuances of Arab traditions.

This painting stands as a testament to Ettore Cercone's ability to transcend cultural boundaries through art. His sensitive portrayal of a moment of prayer not only invites viewers into the world of Arab culture but also speaks to the universal human experience of seeking solace and connection through spirituality.

In the brushstrokes of our painting, Cercone's artistry and reverence for cultural diversity shine through. This painting, housed in the heart of Neapolitan artistic heritage, serves as a poignant reminder of Cercone's legacy—a legacy that bridges the gap between East and West, inviting us to contemplate the beauty of shared human experiences.

Ettore Cercone passed away on 12 September 1896 in Sorrento, leaving behind a body of work that continues to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts worldwide.

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