Lot 140
  • 140

Rudolf Ernst Austrian, 1854-1932

bidding is closed

Description

  • Rudolf Ernst
  • Les Joueurs
  • signed and inscribed R. Ernst. Paris. l.r.
  • oil on panel
  • 72.3 by 92.5cm., 28½ by 36½in.

Provenance

Patrick Berko, Brussels

Literature

Patrick Berko, Peinture Orientaliste, 1982, p. 119, illustrated

Condition

The panel is sound. There is some infilling to the paint shrinkage on the gentleman to the right of the work and a few scattered flecks of old retouching elsewhere visible under ultraviolet light. Apart from some signs of faint craquelure and paint shrinkage (visible on close inspection) this work is in very good overall condition. Held in a substantial plaster moulded gilt frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

The khans, souks and bazaars of North Africa and the Middle East provided western artists with a wealth of ideas for subjects for their paintings. Craftspeople were eager to open their shops and stalls to Western trade. Ernst was a frequent visitor to the region's marketplaces and collected hundreds of objects, arranging them in his studio, where they became models for those displayed in Les Joueurs. Additionally, in participating in the economic exchange of the region, the artist observed first hand the ways in which its people interacted in their daily lives. As such, in the present work Ernst was able to describe the interior decorations, including the intricate wall tiles, rugs and ceramics, while accurately portraying the physiognomy, costumes and culture of the two men engaged in a game of chess.

Ernst's orientalist genre scenes were popular among collectors, who might not have the opportunity to visit far-off lands, witness its traditions and collect its art and artefacts. Paintings such as the present work became a way for American and European art buyers to own, in one composition, the myriad special objects and peoples of the region - no matter if certain elements were reconstructed a world away in Ernst's Paris studio.