Lot 5
  • 5

Edwin Lord Weeks

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Edwin Lord Weeks
  • Rabat (The Red Gate)
  • signed and dated E. L. Weeks. Rabat. 1879 lower left; indistinctly inscribed on the reverse 
  • oil on canvas
  • 72.5 by 99cm., 28½ by 39in.


Mrs Thomas B. Reed
A bequest from the above on 21 July 1914


University Art Galleries, University of New Hampshire, The Art of Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903), 1976, no. 4, illustrated in the catalogue


The Magazine Antiques, August 1985, illustrated

Catalogue Note

This monumental view of the inner gate of the Kasbah of Oudaïas in Rabat was painted during Weeks' third trip to Morocco with his wife Frances Rollins Hale, taking in Tangier, Tetuan, and Rabat. His journey was extensively described in an article titled 'Two Centres of Moorish Art', which appeared in Scribner’s Magazine in 1901. In Rabat, Weeks became fascinated by the kasbah, a fortified citadel built in the twelfth century during the time of the Almohad Caliphate (AD 1121-1269). Having defeated the Almoravids and besieged the city of Rabat, the Almohads destroyed the old kasbah and began the construction of a new one in 1151 AD. Today, the ramparts and gates are amongst the few original parts of the kasbah, testament to the political and religious power of the Almohad Caliphate.

The gate was a spectacular example of highly-ornamented Almohad architecture, characterised by a horse-shoe arch and intertwined arabesques which conveyed elegance and grandeur. Morocco's imposing city gates formed the backdrop to several major French Orientalist works, including Eugène Delacroix's Moulay Abd-Er-Rahman, sultan du Maroc, sortant de son palais de Meknès (Musée des Augustins, Toulouse), or Benjamin-Constant's Les derniers rebelles (Musée d'Orsay).

An enthusiastic traveller, Weeks returned to Morocco in 1880, but subsequently ventured further east, to India, which became the subject of his later work.

The authenticity of this work had been confirmed by Dr Ellen K Morris.