Deutsch was the leading Orientalist painter of the Austrian school, which also included Rudolf Ernst, Arthur von Ferraris, and Rudolf Weisse. He trained at the Vienna Academy in 1872, but settled in Paris in 1878, where he studied with the history painter Jean-Paul Laurens and honed his highly academic style. Deutsch began travelling regularly to Egypt in 1883 and Orientalist subjects dominated his oeuvre from this time on, earning him unprecedented praise.
In 1900, three years after showing an Orientalist composition at the Salon, Deutsch received a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris and, later, the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. The polished surfaces and hallucinatory realism of his paintings were founded on a vast collection of photographs he amassed in Cairo, along with hundreds of props he acquired while abroad that dressed his Paris studio and that are featured in many of his paintings.
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