Travelling to Egypt in 1866 reinvigorated Cordier’s imagination and fuelled his increasing use of exotic ornamentation for his ethnographic subjects. This veiled figure was conceived with an unveiled pair, and Fellah Women Going to Draw Water from the Nile, have been praised as being true in their Oriental aesthetic when compared to photographs and engravings of Egyptian women of the time (L. de Margerie, op. cit. p. 72). On his return from Egypt the plaster for Femme Fellah along with six busts was given to the Dépôt des marble for the total amount of Fr 4,000. Veiled versions of Femme Fellah are rare, one other sold Sotheby’s, Paris, 23 October 2014, lot 44 and, with its pair, Sotheby’s, London, 29 September 1999, lot 259.