The Orientalist Sale

The Orientalist Sale

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 9. JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME | SEATED ARNAUT.


Lot Closed

April 7, 01:08 PM GMT


60,000 - 80,000 GBP

Lot Details




1824 - 1904


signed and dated J.L. GEROME/ 1857. lower left

oil on panel

21 by 15cm., 8¼ by 6in.

Please note that consumer cancellation rights do not apply to this lot.

To view shipping calculator, please click here

Abraham Willet, Amsterdam (sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 10 December 1858, lot 20 [as Jeune Grec])

Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, by 1883

M. Knoedler & Co., New York (purchased from the above on 6 June 1883)

James Warham Whitney (1845-1907), Rochester, New York (acquired from the above on 7 January 1884)

Sale: Sotheby’s, London, 22 January 1964, lot 172

Jerdine (acquired at the above sale)

James Coats, New York (sale: Parke-Bernet, New York, 12 February 1970, lot 89 [as A North African Soldier])

Galt Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (purchased at the above sale)

Private collection, Los Angeles (by 1990)

L’Artiste, Paris, 1858, vol. 5, p. 256, listed (as un Jeune Grec)

Knoedler & Co. stock book, 1883, no. 4487 (as Soldat turc)

Gerald M. Ackerman, The Life and Work of Jean-Léon Gérôme, London, 1986, pp. 202-3, no. 81, catalogued & illustrated (incorrectly catalogued as a copy of the 'lost' Willet version and titled A Young Greek [Jeune Grec])

Gerald M. Ackerman, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Paris, 2000, pp. 236-7, no. 81, catalogued & illustrated (incorrectly catalogued as 'circle of' and as oil on canvas, and titled Jeune Grec)

Emmanuel Bénézit, Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, Paris, 2006, vol. 6, p. 78, listed  

Arnauts, hailing from Albania and the Balkans, were among the bashi-bazouks or mercenaries of diverse origin employed by the Ottoman army. Of particular interest to Gérôme, Arnauts pervaded his work from the late 1850s onwards. They could stand as figures for Ottoman authority, as in Egyptian Recruits Crossing the Desert (1857 Salon, Najd Collection, also offered for sale in these rooms on 31 March), in which Arnauts lead forced conscripts on their march; or represent Muslim piety, as in Prayer in the House of an Arnaut Chief (1857 Salon). In a different vein, in the present work - like many others that show Arnauts relaxing, playing chess, or dancing and merry-making - the Arnaut is glimpsed off guard in a moment of reflection.  

We are grateful to Dr Emily M. Weeks for her assistance in cataloguing this work which will be included in her revision of the artist's catalogue raisonné by Gerald M. Ackerman.