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Details & Cataloguing

Najd Collection, Part II


Rudolf Ernst
signed R. Ernst. lower right
oil on panel
61 by 50cm., 24 by 19½in.


Sale: Christie's, London, 3 November 1977, lot 107
Mr Aiguier (sale: Sotheby's, London, 22 November 1983, lot 18)
Mathaf Gallery, London (purchased at the above sale)
Purchased from the above 


London, Mathaf Gallery, Spring Exhibition of Important Orientalist Paintings of the 19th century, 1984, no. 1, illustrated in the catalogue


Caroline Juler, Najd Collection of Orientalist Paintings, London, 1991, p. 82, catalogued & illustrated, p. 83, cited

Catalogue Note

In this richly finished work, a man stands tall at the entrance of a Nasrid palace, yielding an Ottoman yataghan and dagger to discourage any trespassers. The man also holds a weapon which appears to be a seventeenth-century Eastern European steel war-hammer, known as a nadziak. 

The composition is an interesting mix of architectural and ethnographic elements. The colourful tiles and Moorish decorations recall the melding of styles of the Alhambra palace in Granada, while the metal urn to the right appears to be a late nineteenth-century Indian reproduction of the type sold to Western travellers. No doubt it was one of the many props Ernst himself acquired on his travels and brought home to Paris with him.

Najd Collection, Part II