View full screen - View 1 of Lot 112. RUDOLF ERNST | OUTSIDE THE MOSQUE.


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150,000 - 200,000 GBP




150,000 - 200,000 GBP

Lot sold:







signed R. Ernst. lower right

oil on panel

100 by 79cm., 39½ by 31in.

Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot. 

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The panel is flat, even, and ensuring a stable support. There are two horizontal batons along the top and lower edges respectively.

There are some small spots of rubbing with some associated paint loss in the extreme right framing edge.

Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals an even layer of residual varnish. Some scattered, minor spots and strokes of strengthening are visible, notably in the vault in the upper left quadrant and in the lunette in the upper right.

Otherwise, this painting is in good condition and ready to hang. 

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Sale: Sotheby's, New York, 24 May 1984, lot 40

Mathaf Gallery, London

Purchased from the above

Caroline Juler, Najd Collection of Orientalist Paintings, London, 1991, p. 78, catalogued & illustrated, p. 83, cited

Riyadh, Intercontinental Hotel, Exhibition of Important 19th Century and contemporary paintings of Arabia at the Intercontinental Hotel, Riyadh, 1984, illustrated in the catalogue, illustrated in the catalogue

In 1890, Ernst travelled to Constantinople, a trip which would have a profound impact on his artistic output, hitherto focused on Moorish and North African subjects. Working from photos or his own sketches and memory, he made a series of paintings of mosques seen from outside and inside.

Here, Ernst depicts the façade of the Selim Türbe, Sultan Selim's tomb, in the precincts of Hagia Sophia. As an avid ceramicist himself, who learnt the technique from commercial potter and glass-maker Léon Fargue in Paris, he observed the two Iznik tile panels flanking the entrance with particular interest and accuracy; the pale green cartouche proclaims the shahada, or the Islamic declaration of faith: 'There is only one God, and his Prophet is Mohamed.'  

Under the reformist Sultan Mahmud II, the capital of the Ottoman Empire experienced rapid modernisation and westernisation: the Orient Express railway service, inaugurated in 1871, directly linked the city to Paris. Women wore the latest fashions imported from across Europe. The School of Fine Arts, established by Osman Hamdy Bey, employed French, German and Italian painters to teach Turkish students the European figurative style of painting. Nevertheless, Ernst preferred to focus on Turkey’s traditional Muslim heritage, skills and trades. Here, a woman employs the services of a scribe to read or interpret a letter for her, while a fruit seller sits on the steps offering slices of melon to worshippers and passers-by.