JOSÉ BENLLIURE Y GIL | INSIDE A COFFEE HOUSE, TUNIS
JOSÉ BENLLIURE Y GIL | INSIDE A COFFEE HOUSE, TUNIS
JOSÉ BENLLIURE Y GIL | INSIDE A COFFEE HOUSE, TUNIS
23

JOSÉ BENLLIURE Y GIL | INSIDE A COFFEE HOUSE, TUNIS

Estimate: 50,000 - 70,000 GBP

JOSÉ BENLLIURE Y GIL | INSIDE A COFFEE HOUSE, TUNIS

Estimate: 50,000 - 70,000 GBP

Lot Sold:555,000GBP

Lot Details

Description

JOSÉ BENLLIURE Y GIL

Spanish

1855 - 1937

INSIDE A COFFEE HOUSE, TUNIS


signed J. Benlliure lower left

oil on canvas

54.5 by 92cm., 21½ by 36in.

Condition Report

For the Condition Reports please contact the department on Benedetta.Pedrana@Sothebys.com or 0044 20 7293 6206

Cataloguing

Provenance

Sale: Christie's, London, 24 June 1983, lot 38

Mathaf Gallery, London

Purchased from the above

Exhibited

Berlin, Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung, 1894, no. 100, illustrated in the catalogue (as Maurisches Café in Tunis)

Literature

Caroline Juler, Les Orientalistes de l'école italienne, Paris, 1987, p. 40, catalogued & illustrated

Caroline Juler, Najd Collection of Orientalist Paintings, London, 1991, pp. 22-23, catalogued & illustrated

Eduardo Dizy Caso, Les Orientalistes de l'école espagnole, Paris, 1997, p. 37, catalogued & illustrated

José Benlliure Gil (1855-1937), exh.cat., Centre del Carme, Valencia, 2008, p. 85, cited

Catalogue Note

Though the subject of this painting is based on Benlliure's first-hand experience and observation of life in North Africa, the actual composition appears to relate to a curious mise-en-scène captured in a photograph published in 1892 in La Ilustración Española y Americana. This photograph showed a group of Spanish artists dressed in Middle Eastern attire during carnival at the Circolo Artistico Internazionale (International Artists' Circle) in Via Margutta, Rome (fig. 1). The same photo appears to have inspired three further related works of Moorish cafés.


Benlliure y Gil enjoyed the patronage of the King of Savoy from an early age. The Anglo-American art dealer Martin Colnaghi also noticed his talent, and sponsored his studies in Rome in return for a first refusal on all the works he produced. The Spanish Academy in Rome had been a favourite destination for aspiring Spanish artists ever since Mariano Fortuny y Marsal, a cult figure who inspired a generation of Spanish Orientalist artists, founded the Spanish artists' circle there. Following Fortuny's example, in 1887 Benlliure embarked on a journey to Tunis, followed by a trip to Morocco ten years later.

Important Works from the Najd Collection
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