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Edwin Lord Weeks (American, 1849-1903)
Edwin Lord Weeks (American, 1849-1903)

A Moorish Country Woman with a Jar and a Slave Girl

Edwin Lord Weeks (American, 1849-1903)
A Moorish Country Woman with a Jar and a Slave Girl
signed 'E. L. Weeks' (lower left)
oil on canvas laid down on board
30 x 20 in. (76.2 x 50.8 cm.)
Painted circa 1875-78
The artist's estate sale, American Art Galleries, 15 March 1905, lot 77.
F. D. Millet with T. E. Kirby, Catalogue of Very Important Finished Pictures, Studies, Sketches and Original Drawings by the late Edwin Lord Weeks, American Art Galleries, New York, 15-17 March 1905.

Lot Essay

The early formative years of Edwin Lord Weeks' painting career were chiefly spent in Morocco where the artist traveled and painted from the mid-1870s to 1880. During this period, Weeks refined his technique of working in situ, as with the present large study, unusual in that it includes two figures in a composed group.

Like most of the artist's figure studies, the background is not explicitly rendered, but there is the clear intimation of pictoral space in flashes of notational brushwork. Characteristic of all the artist's work is the juxtaposition of softly-rendered textiles and brilliantly highlighted jewelry and metalwork. In the present work,the women's nutral cotton tunics are set off by the patterned headscarves and the sparkling silver bracelets and elaborate garnet clasps.

In the academic tradition, Weeks incorporated such figural groupings into finished studio paintings, and the present figures appear in several compositions including a painting of a caravan outside the city gates of Rabat. Indeed, the artist retained the present study throughout his career and, not surprisingly, the delfty-executed work fetched a significant price at his estate sale.

This painting will be included in the catalogue raisonné being prepared by Dr. Ellen K. Morris. We are grateful to Dr. Morris for preparing this catalogue entry.


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