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    Sale 7741

    Orientalist Art

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 33

    Franz Xaver Kosler (Austrian, 1864-1905)

    Merchants in a North African market

    Price Realised  

    Franz Xaver Kosler (Austrian, 1864-1905)
    Merchants in a North African market
    signed and dated 'Franz Kosler 1896' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    24½ x 37¼ in. (62 x 95 cm.)
    Painted in 1896.


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    Born in Vienna, Franz Xaver Kosler studied painting there at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. His tutor, Leopold Carl Müller was the most celebrated Austrian Orientalist artist of his day. From 1886 to 1892 Kosler visited Dalmatia, Montenegro, Albania and Egypt. Two years later, he returned to Egypt, sponsored by the Archduke Ferdinand Karl, younger brother of the ill-fated Franz Ferdinand.

    Kosler experienced great success following his final one-man exhibition in 1894 in Cairo, which earned him considerable recognition within Egyptian society. Amongst his patrons was Said Halim Pasha, grandson of Mehemet Ali Pasha, and future Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. Kosler was not only well regarded in Cairo, he also exhibited at the Wiener Kunsthalle, the Glaspalast in Munich and the Royal Academy in London.

    This particular painting represents one of the artist's compositional masterpieces. Rich in both content and colour, the work intricately captures a typically Orientalist scene with unique sensibility and feeling; one that could only have been portrayed by an artist who travelled to the Orient, observing and detailing daily life. Like his teacher, Kosler was fascinated by Egypt and this present painting, most certainly a camel market and probably situated in Cairo, can be related to famous examples painted by his master such as the Camel Market in Cairo, 1889, in the collections of the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum in Linz.

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