The two soldiers, in all their regalia, converse in an Egyptian setting, the gate topped by Mamluk carvings and flanked by East African 'Grandees' chairs', amalgams of Mamluk, Portuguese, and Indian influence. Both men are armed with Ottoman flintlock rifles from Algeria, and the standing guard smokes an Ottoman chibouk pipe with a tophane bowl. On the left, a seventeenth-century Ottoman Tulip-period Tombak ewer rests on the arm of one of the chairs.
Joanovitch studied at the Vienna Academy under Karl Leopold Müller. His patrons included King Alexander of Serbia. He exhibited in Vienna, Munich, and Berlin, where his meticulously observed Montenegrin and Albanian subjects, particularly of warriors and bashi-bazouks, met with international acclaim, prized by English and American collectors alike.
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