Although born in Germany, Max Friedrich Rabes spent very little time in his native country and instead spent his career scouring the globe, exploring through Africa, Asia, and Europe. Studying under the tutelage of Paul Graeb, son of the celebrated architectural and decorative painter Karl Graeb, Rabes quickly formed a solid foundation of skills and techniques. In order to fund his love of travel and obsession with the Orient, Rabes painted stage sets for theaters, created murals and decorated dining rooms for Italian bourgeoisie.
Each voyage to the Orient involved a prolonged stay in Cairo. The scene depicted here was painted during one of Rabes many trips to Egypt and captures the magic of the Orient that many artists and their patrons found so fascinating. Here, Rabes depicts the colorful and vibrant energy of a souk, or marketplace, in Egypt. One can see the lush background, crowds of people, and even donkeys lining the streets on a typical day at the market.