19th Century European Paintings

19th Century European Paintings

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 9. GIULIO ROSATI | The Favourite.

Property from the Najd Collection

GIULIO ROSATI | The Favourite

Auction Closed

December 11, 03:18 PM GMT


100,000 - 150,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from the Najd Collection



1858 - 1917

The Favourite

signed and inscribed G. Rosati-ROMA- lower left

oil on canvas

61 by 101cm., 24 by 39½in.

The loan of this painting has been requested for the forthcoming exhibition "Odalisques. From Ingres to Picasso" at the Museum of Fine Arts of Granada within the Monumental Complex of la Alhambra and Generalife from November 2020 until February 2021.

Mathaf Gallery, London

Purchased from the above

Lynne Thornton, Women as Portrayed in Orientalist Painting, Paris, 1985, p. 185, cited & illustrated

Philip Hook and Mark Poltimore, Popular 19th Century Painting, A Dictionary of European Genre Painters, Suffolk, 1986, p. 358, catalogued & illustrated

Caroline Juler, Najd Collection of Orientalist Paintings, London, 1991, p. 210a, catalogued & illustrated

Lynne Thornton, Women as Portrayed in Orientalist Painting, Paris, 1994, p. 168, cited & illustrated

While Rosati's Orientalist compositions owed much to his imagination (here he conjures up a scene of envoys of the Sultan singling out new female recruits to the Harem), the actual interiors and props are masterfully observed in minute detail. 

Here, against a backdrop that could be the Alhambra, it is the veritable emporium of rugs and carpets that captivates the viewer. Hanging between the columns, from left to right, can be seen an Oushak 'Medallion' carpet, West Anatolia, 16th/17th century; a Kirshehir prayer rug, Central Anatolia; and a North African/Berber rug. The two figures on the right sit on a Southwest Caucasian, possibly Gendje, carpet; in the right foreground is a Mudjur prayer rug, Central Anatolia; while the three central figures stand on an Oushak 'double-niche' small medallion rug, with cloudband border.

Rosati trained at the Accademia di San Luca before joining the studio of the popular Spanish history and genre painter Luis Alvarez Catalá in Rome. Catalá belonged to the colony of Spanish painters in Rome, led by Mariano Fortuny, whose Orientalist works met with great critical acclaim in Rome in the 1860s and which would have been an inspiration to aspiring Italian Orientalists like Rosati.