Gérôme’s Cinematic Vision of the North African Desert


With a director’s eye for narrative, Jean-Léon Gérôme masterfully captures a horseman comforting his exhausted steed under the brightness of the desert sun. After visiting Egypt in 1856 with sculptor and photographer Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, Gérôme was familiar with this harsh, wild world and the way its inhabitants braved it with impassive dignity. The panoramic backdrop and precision draftsmanship make ‘Rider and his Steed in the Desert’ a fascinating link between the nascent technology of photography and the artist’s own academic painterly vision. Gérôme’s evocative work is a highlight of The Orientalist Sale (30 April | London). Click here to watch more Sotheby’s videos.

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