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拍品詳情

東方主義藝術

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倫敦

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
1845-1902
FRENCH
THE SENTINEL
signed Benj. Constant lower centre
oil on canvas
120 by 80cm., 47¼ by 31½in.
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來源

Private collection, New York (acquired circa 1975)

出版

L'Illustration, Paris, vol. 79, 25 February 1882, illustrated
Benjamin-Constant, Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism, exh. cat., Toulouse & Montreal, 2014, p. 220, fig. 275, a print after the painting illustrated (as Janissary)

相關資料

Evoking the glory of Andalusia's Islamic past, Benjamin-Constant recreates a scene of everyday life in what was Islam's westernmost polity. Moorish Spain along with Morocco, just across the straits of Gibraltar, both of which he visited, were the main sources of inspiration for the artist. Of particular interest was the architecture of the Alhambra at Granada - forming the backdrop for numerous compositions, by times of men, by times of women in harem settings, and famously for his Salon submission of 1882, The Day after a Victory at the Alhambra (Museum of Montréal, Canada).

Underlying his Orientalist subjects is a rigorous academic training and skill at rendering the human anatomy, acquired at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under the history painter Alexandre Cabanel. Here, the stoic pose of the sentinel is masterfully observed, every muscle in his body taught and alert. His accoutrements, even down to the Mamluk glass bottle on the wall, are observed in minute detail. Benjamin-Constant's studio in Pigalle became a veritable emporium of objects collected on his journeys, ranging from rugs and fabrics to furniture and weapons. 

The painting is offered in an elaborate gilt frame embossed in Arabic with the words 'There is no Victor but God', the motto of the Emirate of Granada and of the Nasrid Dynasty, and which is worked into the decoration of the Alhambra, built by that dynasty.

東方主義藝術

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倫敦