GEORGES BRETEGNIER | THE HOUR OF PRAYER, TANGIER
The canvas has not been lined and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher which is providing stable support.
The paint surface is clean and stable.
Inspection under ultra violet light reveals some scattered spots of cosmetic retouching, including:
- spots along the extreme framing edges;
- some spots around the third standing man from the right in the centre of the composition;
- one fine line in the background in the upper left quadrant; and
- one small area in the lower left corner possibly addressing an old puncture (also patched on the reverse).
Otherwise, this work is in good condition, presents well and is ready to hang.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame.
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 provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour 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 because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE INCLUDED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Wearing an emerald green gown, an Imam leads a group of men in prayer in the mosque of El-Kasbah in Tangier. They face the mihrab, indicating the direction of Mecca. The scene is bathed in a warm light, enhanced by the soft yellows of the Moorish architecture. The standing men perform the initial invocation to God, or qiyam, while the figure to the far left performs the sajda or prostration, during which the forehead is reverently placed to the ground.
A pupil of Jean-Léon Gérôme, Bretegnier first visited North Africa at the end of 1884 where he remained until the following summer, studying the culture and the architecture, while visiting Morocco, Tunisia and Spain. Hugely influenced by what he found, he took to dressing in the local garb in order to mix more easily with the locals, sporting a djellaba and travelling by donkey.