FREDERIC, LORD LEIGHTON, P.R.A., R.W.S
1830 - 1896
A Nile Woman
oil on canvas
56 by 30.5cm., 22 by 12in.
The canvas is lined. There is a faint craquelure pattern and a horizontal stretcher bar mark upper edge. Some minor frame abrasions along left and right edges.
Ultraviolet light reveals retouchings across the upper edge and along the left edge. Further areas in the figure's dress below her waist, a small spot between her feet and a few further minor flecks elsewhere to the figure.
Held in a gilt plaster frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Probably given by the artist to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, before 1897;
Christie's, London, 11 June 2002, lot 120 where purchased by Stan Battat
Leonee and Richard Ormond, Lord Leighton, 1975, pp.98, 158, cat.no.161 (untraced)
London, Royal Academy, 1870, no. 163;
London, Royal Academy, Works by the late Lord Leighton, Winter 1897, no.170 (lent by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales)
Leighton went to Egypt in 1868, the year before the opening of the Suez canal. He travelled as far south as Aswan and painted over forty landscapes. The viceroy Ismail Pasha placed a steamer at Leighton's disposal, probably on the recommendation of Edward, Prince of Wales who was given the present picture - perhaps in thanks for his introduction. Despite the large number of pictures painted in Egypt, Leighton painted only two figurative subjects, the present picture and Eastern Slinger, a a muscular Egyptian bird-scarer which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1875 (untraced).
Leighton cleverly captured the heat of the last light of the day as the solitary Egyptian woman makes her way home through the sand. The careful rendering of her robes is typical of Leighton and the pose of a woman carrying a water-jar appears in several important later works by the artist, including Captive Andromache of 1886 (Manchester City Art Gallery).