Viewing "An inmate of the hareem, Cairo" and "The Hhareem, Cairo" at the V&A
Posted by Tanos on Wed 15 Jan 14, 8:56 PM
I recently had an opportunity to view two of J.F. Lewis's paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum collection which are not normally on display. In the foreground is "An inmate of the Hareem, Cairo" of 1858; in front of my laptop is a preparatory study for "The Harem of a Mameluke Bey, Cairo: The Introduction of an Abyssinian Slave" from about 1850. The study only shows the harem master and his attendant women seated on the divan, and does not include the new slave girl slipping off her clothing for his approval. With the full version on my laptop screen, I was able to compare the two in detail. During the same visit I was able to examine his sketch "The Slave Market in Constantinople", which is just mounted on card in a box with other sketches and watercolours. Quite an experience to take it out myself and look at Lewis's pen and paint strokes, created during or immediately after his visit.