Lot 16
  • 16

Rudolf Ernst

Estimate
100,000 - 150,000 GBP
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Description

  • Rudolf Ernst
  • The Arms Merchant
  • signed and dated R. Ernst 85 lower right
  • oil on panel
  • 61 by 49cm., 24 by 19┬╝in.

Condition

The panel is flat, even and ensuring a stable support, with two horizontal panel batons on the reverse. Under ultra-violet light the varnish fluoresces evenly and a handful of very minor finely-applied spots of retouching are visible, notably a small circa 1 by 1cm area in the dark pigments through the window in the centre, and fine spots near the framing edges. This painting is in good condition and ready to hang. Presented in a decorative 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

Rudolf Ernst’s The Arms Merchant, like Deutsch’s The Palace Guard (lot 10), focuses on all manner of closely observed weaponry, from the yataghan sword being inspected by the prospective customer, to the ivory-hilted kard (dagger), curved shamshir (sword), and Caucasian flintlock pistol on display on the floor. Nearby, the merchant’s hookah pipe rests against the folds of the rug. The composition perfectly captures a Middle Eastern side street, the merchant’s canopy adorned with decorative ostrich egg pendants. Painted when Ernst was thirty-one, the present work is among the artist’s early Orientalist works, inspired by his recent travels to Egypt. Almost all his paintings were executed in his studio in Paris, which he decorated in an Eastern style and filled with the sketches and props he accumulated on his travels.