Germain Fabius Brest
- Germain Fabius Brest
Quartier de Constantinople
- signed Fabius Brest lower right
oil on canvas
- 54.5 by 82.5cm., 21½ by 32½in.
Encouraged by his teacher in Marseille, Emile Loubon, Fabius Brest spent four years, from 1855 until 1859, living in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), recording in a series of paintings views of Constantinople, the surrounding countryside, and the Black Sea coast. The time he spent there continued to inspire his work for the rest of his career, and provided the subjects for many of his Salon submissions throughout the 1860s and 1870s.
Today, Fabius Brest is best known for his paintings of the streets and squares of Constantinople. For the present work, Fabius Brest has chosen to depict on an unusually large scale a remarkably informal scene set in a quiet street on a hot summer's afternoon - perhaps the better to describe the daily life of the townspeople. A melon seller plies his trade in the shade of a tree in the foreground, and on the right traders return from the market with their mules, their baskets now empty. In the background, a group of men converse outside a kief or café.