This striking painting is a rare example of Weeks' Spanish oeuvre. The present work derives directly from an in situ study of the Sacristy and Doorway of the Cathedral, Granada, sold in these rooms 15 March 2000, Lot 33, executed in 1880 while the artist traveled through Spain on his return to Paris after an extended stay in Morocco. Indeed, it is likely that this finished work was among the very first paintings Weeks completed in his new studio at 42 rue d'Orsel.
The present painting is remarkable for its handling of texture; the various surfaces of stone, stucco and textiles are finely drawn and accurately rendered. Prefiguring Weeks' later work, the detail in the ornamentation of buildings and figures is convincingly realistic while retaining a 'notional', painterly quality which sets Weeks' work apart from many of his academic contemporaries. The handling of bright sunlight, shadow, and shade lends the scene a palpable feeling of heat, and reflects Weeks' lifelong penchant for the brilliant lighting of the arid climates of North Africa, India, and Persia.
We wish to thank Dr. Ellen K. Morris for preparing this catalogue entry. This painting will be included in the catalogue raisonné being prepared by Morris.