Lot 16
  • 16

Rudolf Ernst

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Rudolf Ernst
  • The Arms Merchant
  • signed and dated R. Ernst 85 lower right
  • oil on panel
  • 61 by 49cm., 24 by 19¼in.

Catalogue Note

Rudolf Ernst’s The Arms Merchant, like Deutsch’s The Palace Guard (lot 10), focuses on all manner of closely observed weaponry, from the yataghan sword being inspected by the prospective customer, to the ivory-hilted kard (dagger), curved shamshir (sword), and Caucasian flintlock pistol on display on the floor. Nearby, the merchant’s hookah pipe rests against the folds of the rug. The composition perfectly captures a Middle Eastern side street, the merchant’s canopy adorned with decorative ostrich egg pendants. Painted when Ernst was thirty-one, the present work is among the artist’s early Orientalist works, inspired by his recent travels to Egypt. Almost all his paintings were executed in his studio in Paris, which he decorated in an Eastern style and filled with the sketches and props he accumulated on his travels.