JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME | SEATED ARNAUT
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.
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The panel is flat, even, and ensuring a stable support.
The paint surface is clean. There is a pattern of hairline craquelure throughout; however, this is stable and not distracting to the naked eye.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals vestiges of old residual varnish and no sign of restoration.
This work is in good condition 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.
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.