28 October 2004
John Faed, R.S.A. (1820-1902)
Bazaar at Cairo, Bedouins buying armour
signed 'J. Faed' (lower right) and further signed and inscribed 'Bazaar at Cairo. Bedouins buying Armour. Painted by John Faed R.S.A' (on the panel support)
oil on board, laid down on panel
7 7/8 x 9 3/8 in. (20 x 23.8 cm.)
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Mary McKerrow, The Faeds: A biography, Canongate, 1982, p. 145.
Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy, 1895, no. 69.
Although this picture was amongst the last that Faed exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, it shows no diminution of his powers. Its subject recalls Bedouin exchanging a Young Slave for Armour and Scene in a Bazaar, Cairo, executed after a tour of Palestine, Syria and Egypt in 1857. In his reminiscences Faed explained: 'During our travels I picked up several valuables in costume and armour which I afterwards made available in Eastern pictures both in Edinburgh and London. In neither of these cities (Edinburgh or London) can you find the articles I speak of, except in private collections'. The exoticism of these items would have been striking to a Victorian audience and ensured the pictures' contemporary appeal.
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