Lot 57
  • 57

Edwin Lord Weeks

100,000 - 150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Edwin Lord Weeks
  • Figures in an Interior with Garden of Palms Beyond
  • signed E.L. Weeks (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 32 by 39 1/2 in.
  • 81.3 by 100.3 cm


Collection of Mrs. Lucie Cable Castleman, St. Louis (by 1896)
Thence by descent


The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: This work is in lovely condition. The canvas has been lined recently, but the stretcher is original. The paint layer is stable. No retouches are visible to the naked eye. Under ultraviolet light, a spot in the upper center, another along the bottom edge, and a few other isolated spots mainly on the edges are the only visible restorations.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

After years of travel through Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and India, the American artist Edwin Lord Weeks remained captivated by the sights he encountered abroad and towards the end of his career he began an ambitious series of paintings based on A Thousand and One Nights. From this series, he exhibited Man Waking from Sleep in 1898 and L’histoire de Noureddin et la belle Persane a year later at the Paris Salon of 1899. A series of four paintings of The Porter of Baghdad were sold in the artist’s estate sale of 1905 (one of which was shown at the Paris Salon of 1901). Given the scale and subject, the present painting is almost certainly one from this series, although, like lot xx, it has remained undocumented until now.

In Figures in an Interior with Garden of Palms Beyond, Weeks presents an interesting combination of imagery. Weeks documented his travels through sketches, paintings and photographs, which provided source material for the present scene. Additionally, architectural elements reminiscent of Weeks’ Indian paintings of the 1880s and 1890s now reappear as the background and decorative elements. 

Two figures sit in a sheltered, sun-dappled courtyard overlooking a lush forest of swaying palms, Weeks is careful to render the architecture of the scene, complete with its delicately carved stone latticework, as well as the costumes of the two figures. The lounging girl is swathed in elaborately embroidered sheer red silks, reminiscent of the Nautch dancing girls which Weeks had painted in India (see lot 56).

Please note this lot will be sold unframed.