domingo, 23 de septiembre de 2018

MERCADO | Christa Zaat

Christa Zaat

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Leopold Carl Müller (Austrian genre painter) 1834 - 1892
The Camel Market, Cairo, ca. 1886
oil on canvas
45 x 70 cm. (17.75 x 27.5 in.)
signed Leopold C. Muller lower right
private collection

Catalogue Note Sotheby's
Executed circa 1886, this animated, sun-filled scene brings together many of the elements that populate Müller's best-known compositions - from the water carriers, to the squatting group of conversing men on the left, to the teacher being guided by the boy on the right. The scintillating impressionistic brushwork bear out Müller's observation that 'it makes a big difference whether you paint comfortably in your studio or whether you work out in the open, under a rapidly marching sun.'

Müller made the first of his nine visits to Cairo in the winter of 1873-74, the inspiration for his first large-scale Orientalist painting Bedouin Camped Near the Pyramids which was bought by the Belvedere (Österreichische Galerie), Vienna. In 1881 he spent six months in the country, two of them in Upper Egypt, staying for nearly two months in Aswan observing the life of the Bedouins. His final, and by his own account most fruitful trip in terms of artistic output, came in 1885-86.

Müller found a ready market for his paintings, notably among English visitors wintering in Cairo, and as early as 1875 was encouraged by the Prince of Wales to send his work to London. Here, he was signed by leading art dealer and owner of the French Gallery, Henry Wallis, who cemented his commercial success. The present work was almost certainly sold by Wallis, as it is known to have been owned by an English collector before it was sold to its new Austrian owners in the 1960s.

Of all the Austrian Orientalists Müller arguably had the strongest influence on the Viennese school of Orientalists. Appointed professor at Vienna's Akademie der bildenden Künste in 1877, his pupils included Charles Wilda (lots 8 and 17), his nephew Rudolf Swoboda (lot 14), and Franz Kosler.

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Born in Dresden to Austrian parents, he was a pupil of Karl von Blaas and of Christian Ruben at the Academy in Vienna. Obliged to support his family after his father's death, he worked eight years as an illustrator for the Vienna Figaro. Continuing his studies subsequently, he visited repeatedly Italy and Egypt, and made his name favorably known through a series of scenes from popular life in Italy and Hungary.
Later he displayed his coloristic talent to greater advantage in oriental subjects, such as “Arabian Money-Changers,” “Pilgrims to Mecca Resting,” “Bedouins in Camp,” “Camel Mart,” “Young Copt Woman” (New Pinakothek, Munich). Other works include “The Inundation in Vienna, 1862” “Old Little Matron” and “Last Task of the Day” (both in the Vienna Museum); and “Soldiers in the Thirty Years' War” (Prague Gallery).
He died, aged 57, in Weidlingau, now part of Vienna.

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