domingo, 23 de septiembre de 2018

BAJO EL SELLO | Christa Zaat

Christa Zaat

No hay texto alternativo automático disponible.

Arthur Melville (Scottish painter) 1855 - 1904
Past and Present, 1881
watercolour with scratching out
65.2 x 47.7 cm. (25 11/16 x 18 3/4 in.)
signed, dated and inscribed 'Arthur Melville/Cairo 1881' (lower left)
private collection

Catalogue Note
Melville had a number of important early patrons whose business interests overseas made them receptive to the radical pictures he sent home from Egypt and Persia 1881-83. Among these were Arthur Sanderson (VAT 69 whisky), who had an important art collection, James Mackinlay and Sir James Bell (both whisky), James Cox (Dundee jute baron) and John Tullis (Glasgow leather manufacturer).

Melville was in the vanguard of British artists who spent time in the East (he had a full year in Cairo, before circumnavigating the Arabic peninsula and then crossing Persia/Turkey on horseback), producing a considerable body of work which sustained him for the rest of his career. It reflected some of the interests of European 'Orientalism' without subscribing to the imperialist 'control mechanism' which dictated that Arabs be depicted as warlike, wanton or simply indolent, sitting idle while their ancient civilizations were plundered or crumbled around them.

A Scot with a strict, almost Calvinist upbringing, Melville does not reflect these prejudices but was instead fascinated by the mosque as a relaxed place where spiritual and secular could intersect. This picture is a fine example of a short series of 'ethnographic' pictures (like Babylonian Girl or The one-eyed Calender of Bagdad), and as in Arab Interior (National Galleries of Scotland) he reflects the model's dignified, relaxed bearing. It is also most unusual to see hieroglyphics represented in his work.

This picture has re-emerged from a private collection over a century since it was last exhibited.

No hay texto alternativo automático disponible.

No hay comentarios: