- Alfred Dehodencq
- An Audience Outside the Kasbah Gate, Tangiers
- signed Alfred Dehodencq lower right
- oil on canvas
Dehodencq moved to Morocco by way of Spain in 1853, and settled there from 1854 until 1863, during which time he produced many of his most famous paintings of Moroccan life. All of them are distinguished by their intense colour palette and sense of dramatic movement, a reflection of his own restless, passionate nature and of the influence of his Romantic heroes Chateaubriand, Delacroix, Goya, and Velazquez. Dehodencq lived through a tumultuous time in Morocco, which further fired his artistic imagination: following the death of Sultan Mulai Abderrahmanin in 1859, Morocco went to war with Spain over Ceuta, a conflict which lasted until 1862 and resulted in social turmoil, a strengthening of the Sultans' grip on power, and the persecution and expulsion of Jews and Europeans.
The present work, which belongs to this series, was probably acquired by its first owner, Sir John Hay-Drummond-Hay, while he was serving in Tangiers. It has remained in the Drummond-Hay family ever since. John Hay-Drummond-Hay’s father, Edward William Auriol Drummond-Hay, had been appointed Political Agent and Consul General in Morocco as early as 1829. Hay-Drummond-Hay joined the Political Service in 1840 as attaché in Constantinople, but in 1844, was invited to serve under his father largely because of his exceptional command of Arabic. He was appointed Consul-General of Morocco in 1845, a post he held until 1886.