Launched by Sotheby’s London in 2012 as an annual event, the Orientalist Sale enters its seventh season and brings together an eclectic mix of paintings and sculptures depicting the landscapes, people and customs of North Africa, Egypt, the Levant, Arabia and the Ottomans represent world from the 19th and early 20th century.
This year’s sale will feature the largest offering since the opening auction in 2012.
With over 60 lots, the auction, which takes place on April 24th, includes exquisite works that offer fascinating historical insights into the Arabic, Ottoman and Islamic world of the time.
Claude Piening, Head of Orientalist Paintings at Sotheby’s, said: “We are delighted to present rediscovered works by masters of the genre alongside a small group of paintings being auctioned from a distinguished private collection, as well as enchanting scenes of everyday life in the region, all of which are available at different prices.’
Mr Piening revealed that many of the paintings had not been seen on the market for decades.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for collectors to get their hands on images that have not been seen for a long time,” he said.
Auction highlights include Anders Zorn’s (Swedish, 1860-1920) Women in front of the Sidi Abderrahman Mosque, Algiers (1887), watercolor and gouache on paper, estimated at between £300,000 and £500,000.
This rediscovered work is part of a small series of watercolors that Zorn made in Algiers during an extended trip with his wife Emma to Constantinople, Greece, Italy and North Africa.
In the work, Zorn depicts the Sidi Abderrahman Mosque in Algiers, Algeria, painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir five years earlier.
Of the painting (pictured), Sotheby’s said: “This work demonstrates Zorn’s mastery and virtuosity in the use of watercolours, which brought him fame for the first time.”
Another highlight of the auction will be Edwin Lord Weeks’ (American, 1849-1903) Rabat (The Red Gate) (1879), oil on canvas – estimated retail price of £200,000-300,000.
This monumental view of the inner gate of the Kasbah of Oudaïas in Rabat was painted during Week’s third trip to Morocco with his wife Frances Rollins Hales, visiting Tangier, Tétouan and Rabat.
In Rabat, Weeks was fascinated by the Kasbah, a fortified citadel built in the 12th century during the Almohad Caliphate period (AD 1121-1269).
The gate was a spectacular example of highly decorated Almohad architecture, characterized by a horseshoe arch and intertwined arabesques that conveyed elegance and grandeur.
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