Sale: Sotheby's, London, 27 November 1991, lot 121 Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Tornai's unique blend of Orientalism was inspired by the artist's travels to Morocco in the 1890s and, compositionally and chromatically, by the great nineteenth-century Viennese colourist Hans Makart, who influenced a whole generation of Austrian artists. Tornai's generation of Vienna-trained painters were among the most celebrated exponents of the Orientalist genre in Europe, famous for applying the tenets of academic painting to the portrayal of life in North Africa. They included Ludwig Deutsch, Rudolf Ernst, Arthur von Ferraris, Charles Wilda, and Leopold Carl Müller.
The canvas has not been lined and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher. Some lines of raised craquelure are visible in the blue marble in the central pillar and in the female figure in the centre of the composition. However, these appear to be stable. Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals no visible sign of retouching.
This work presents well and is overall in good condition. This work is ready to hang.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame with some losses.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."