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Details & Cataloguing

The Orientalist Sale

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London

Auguste Veillon
1834 - 1890
SWISS
HALT IN THE DESERT
signed A. Veillon lower left
oil on canvas
116 by 193cm., 45½ by 76in.
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Provenance

Selano Gallery (by 2000)
Sale: Dobiaschofsky, Bern, 8 November 2002, lot 1037
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Catalogue Note

This evocative, panoramic view captures a camel caravan in a desert landscape, very possibly the Sinai close to the shores of the Red Sea, halting for water. With great mastery, Veillon evokes the stillness of the desert air as the journeymen encounter a local water carrier at a well. Although they rarely travelled faster than the walking speed of a man, camels' ability to handle harsh conditions and long distances without drinking made them ideal for communication and trade in the desert areas of northern Africa and the Arabian peninsula for centuries.

Veillon studied under François Diday in Geneva before enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1858. While in Paris, he spent a considerable amount of time in the Louvre, copying the works of the masters, especially the seventeenth-century Dutch masters and the work of Claude Lorrain, whom he later credited for the luminism that defines his landscapes. Veillon's neighbour in the French capital was the Orientalist painter Eugène Fromentin, who sparked his interest in Orientalist themes and inspired him to see the Middle East for himself. He went on to visit Egypt at least four times, in 1873 staying there with his friend, the artist Etienne Duval (1824-1919). 

The Orientalist Sale

|
London