The canvas has not been lined and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher. The canvas is somewhat loose and could benefit from some light re-tensioning. There is some minor frame rubbing with associated paint losses along the extreme framing edges, mostly covered by the frame. There are small tears along the tacking edges, also covered by the frame.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals an even layer of residual varnish and some minor cosmetic retouching, including:
- some small lines in the man's eye and in the woman's face;
- some spots in the foliage of the cypresses in the upper right quadrant;
- a small area in the lower left corner; and
- some strokes along the upper framing edge.
Overall, this work presents very well and is in good condition.
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.
Private collection, London (purchased circa 1996)
Paris, Salon, 1913, no. 662
This impressive panorama is thought to be Ernst's largest known work and a veritable tour de force of Orientalist painting. Set against the backdrop of a city skyline of minarets that could be Constantinople, a man and a young woman, possibly father and daughter, itinerant and surrounded by their prized belongings, contemplate the new dawn from the hills outside the town. The painting shows off Ernst's skill not just as a landscapist and observer of light, but as a master observer of different textures - from the ceramics to the figures' silk costumes - so brilliantly observed that they are almost tactile.
Ernst travelled extensively in the Ottoman Empire and north Africa, sketching and photographing copiously and collecting props of all kinds to feature in his finished paintings on his return to Fontenay-aux-Roses outside Paris where he had his studio. The present work abounds with objects, from Safavid vases, one with a brass or bronze neck, the other with a turquoise glaze; Andalusian or Damascene tiles; a Qajar Ghalian cup; an Ottoman tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, possibly ivory inlaid box; Ottoman babouche shoes; and large incised tombak chalice.