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Study of a young Arab male, England 19th century
Study of a young Arab male, England 19th century - Paintings & Drawings Style
Ref : 112515
8 800 €
Period :
19th century
Provenance :
Medium :
Oil on canvas
Dimensions :
l. 24.21 inch X H. 29.13 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Study of a young Arab male, England 19th century


Study of a young Arab male, England 19th century

Attributed to William James Müller (Bristol, 1812-1845)
Study of a young Arab male
Oil on canvas, framed
74 cm. wide x 61.5 cm. high / 29 x 24 ins

Sotheby's London, British Paintings 1500-1850, 9th July 1997, lot 104 (as ‘William Etty’), sold for £13,800; With the Parker Gallery, England

The present painting is a captivating example of early English orientalist portraiture. It shows, from three angles, a young moustachioed Arab male glancing to dexter, wearing a collared shirt and long black locks of hair flowing beneath a red-and-white turban. He is surrounded by a background of swirling red clouds.

A portrait of Prince Johannis Mavromichaeli, from the collection of Sir Nicholas Goodison and attributed to the Bristol-born Anglo-German artist, William James Müller (Christie’s, London, 25 May 2022, lot 73), may be related to the present portrait in terms of the sitter’s glance to dexter, the swirling clouds in the background and the fine rendering of the locks of hair, in comparison to the sketchy clothing. Although Müller specialised in landscape and genre scenes, he must have painted portrait sketches of his figures. It seems possible, therefore, that the present portrait was a preparatory sketch for a larger painting, executed during Müller’s travels in Egypt or Turkey.

In a career cut short by his untimely death, the Anglo-German artist William James Müller travelled extensively in search of inspiration. As well as tours within the British Isles, he spent seven months in Europe in 1834, visiting Belgium, travelling up the Rhine to Switzerland, and then on to Italy. In 1838 he travelled to Greece and Egypt, arriving in Egypt only six weeks after David Roberts, the first significant British artist to visit Egypt, and in the summer of 1840 he visited France, then travelled extensively around Turkey in 1843-44, before his death in 1845.

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19th Century Oil Painting