Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904)

Dispute d'arabes

Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904)
Dispute d'arabes
signed 'J. L. Gerome.' (upper right)
oil on panel
11½ x 9¼ in. (29.2 x 23.5 cm.)
painted in 1872.
Earl of Dunmore; Christie's, 14 March 1874, lot 135 (1050 gns. to Wallis).
F. W. Armytage; Christie's, 22 May 1897, lot 106 (420 gns. to Wallis). The Sordoni Family Collection, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, circa 1960-70.
E. Strahan, ed., Gérome: A Collection of the works of J. L. Gérome in One Hundred Photogravures, New York, 1881, (illustrated).
F. F. Hering, The Life and Work of Jean-Léon Gérôme, New York, 1892, p. 215.
H. Mireur, Dictionnaire des Ventes d'Art faite en France et à l'Etranger pendant les XVIIIme & XIXme Siècles, Paris, 1911, p. 296.
G. Ackerman, The Life and Work of Jean-Léon Gérôme, London, 1986, pp. 232-3, no. 221 (illustrated and illustrated in colour, p. 100).
London, 1872.
Dayton, Ohio, Dayton Art Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Baltimore, Maryland, The Walters Art Gallery, Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904), 10 November 1972-20 May 1973, p. 67, no. 23 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

Fanny Hering quotes the Athenaeum's account of the painting upon its exhibition in London in 1872: 'A gaunt, sun-dried old Nubian camel-driver, clad in white, and girt with a rude sword grasps the halter of his patient waiting beast and, because he is irate beyond other modes of expression, dashes his goad on the stones of the street. He grins like an angry tiger because two Cairene men, one of whom is a descendant of the Prophet, have, as he thinks, tried to cheat him. They remonstrate with different and marvelously expressive action, and all three seem to be speaking at once. Through the archway we have a glimpse of a narrow street, with veiled figures lingering in the shade - of balconies and windows and far-off sunlight. The camel, like the human figures, is admirably drawn; the tones of the picture are richer than usual, and the effect is more than commonly happy'.

Ackerman states that this, one of the last of Gérôme's miniatures is 'a marvellous work' (op. cit., p. 232).

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