Ernst studied under Anselm Feuerbach at the Vienna Academy, but moved to Paris where, in 1883, he met Osman Hamdy Bey, the French-trained Turkish painter who was among the artists who inspired him to turn to Orientalist subjects. These would become central to Ernst's oeuvre, characterised by a colouristic resplendence and attention to detail. He made Fontenay-aux-Roses, near Paris, his home and studio, where he completed almost all of his paintings, using sketches and photographs made during his journeys to Morocco, Egypt, and Constantinople.
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