J. A. HARINGTON BIRD
1846 - 1936
The Drinking Well
Oil on canvas, signed lower right
Image size: 16 x 24 ½ inches (40.5 x 62.5 cm)
Hand made Orientalist gilt frame
Harington Bird was a painter of animals, often in watercolour. Born on 23rd May 1846, he was destined for the Army but took up painting instead. He studied at The Royal Academy Schools and in 1870, aged 24, exhibited his first picture there. A second Royal Academy exhibit, ‘On Sufferance’, followed in 1874 before Bird set off for Montreal, Canada, where he became an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy, but in 1885, after a ten year absence, he returned to England.
Once back, Bird resumed his Academy career and seems also to have been engaged in commissions, painting prominent English racehorses of the time. Around the turn of the century, Bird started to concentrate on the Arab horse, and probably visited North Africa to study this noble animal in its natural environment.
On the whole, Bird painted the Arabian horse in watercolour and achieved remarkable effects in this medium, capturing in particular the sheen of the horses’ coats and the dust of the desert.
Bird’s meticulous attention to equine anatomy and skill as an artist make him the leading horse painter of the Orientalist movement. His work is to be found in many prominent collections, including The Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace.
This painting is a rare oil, as he mainly painted in watercolour. The horses are depicted in profile, with the classical grace of a horse on the Parthenon frieze or a Stubbs. The pose conveys their elegant configuration, fine musculature and glossy coats. The desert setting is painted more broadly, as a strong backdrop in beautiful tones of blue with flecks of gold on the sunlit sky, so as not to detract from the visual impact of the powerful horses.
The coats of the three horses draw the viewer in to these magnificent animals. Two of the main reasons western artists travelled to the Middle East was for the strong light and the brilliant colours, both of which Bird uses to full effect in this scene.
Charles Théodore Frère
French 1814 - 1888
Outskirts of Cairo
Oil on canvas, signed and inscribed "Au Caire" lower right
Image size: 12 ¾ x 22 ½ inches
Original gilt frame
Charles Théodore Frère was born in Paris on 21st June 1814. As a young man he showed a strong inclination towards painting as a career, despite his father’s hopes that he would become a musician. He studied under the landscape artist Jules Coignet (1798-1860) and then under Camille Roqueplan (1803-1855). On completing his apprenticeship he travelled extensively in France, exhibiting at the Salon for the first time in 1834, and again in 1835 and 1836.
A visit to Algeria in 1837 changed the course of his life. He exhibited his first Orientalist painting at the Salon in 1839 and from then on painted only scenes of the Muslim world. He stayed in Algeria for a year, painting several large pictures, which were later bought by King Wurttemberg. He appears to have travelled almost annually to Algeria until about 1850. In 1851 he journeyed further East, stopping at Malta, Greece and Smyrna on his way to Constantinople where he stayed for eighteen months. He then went on to Syria, Palestine, Nubia and Egypt, where he had a studio in Cairo. After three years travelling Frère returned to Paris laden with material for future paintings. He took part in the Paris Universal Exhibitions of 1855, 1867 and 1878. He made his last journey to Egypt in 1869 for the inauguration of the Suez Canal in the company of Empress Eugénie and her entourage.
Frère's talent and appeal lies in his ability to create atmospheric scenes, for example Bedouin encampments silhouetted against dawn and sunset views.
Frère died in Paris on 24th March 1888.
Nancy (Arabes au Repos), Bagnères (La Caravane), Laval (Vue de Karnac & Ruines de Louqsor), Reims (Caravane Traversant le Désert d'Arabie), Bourges (Le Soir sur les Bords du Nil), Mulhouse (Chameliers au Caire & Rue au Caire), New York (MetropolitanArt Museum), Chicago, Minneapolis
Benezit Vol. IV p517 (1976)
Thieme Becker p427 (1927)
Lynne Thornton 'The Orientalists', ACR Edition, 1983, pp52-54
Courtship in Cairo
Oil on canvas, signed and dated ‘Ralli, 81’ lower left
Image size: 16½ x 12¾ inches (41 x 31.50 cm)
Hand made Orientalist gilt frame
The Forbidden Fruit
Pencil, watercolour & bodycolour, Signed lower left
Image size:21 x 15¾ inches (53 x 40 cm)
Original gilt frame
The son of the well-known architectural painter Leopold Ernst (1808-1862), Rudolph was born in Vienna in 1854. He joined the Vienna Academy of Fine Art in 1869 where he studied under August Eisenmenger (1830-1907) and Anselme Feuerbach (1829-1880). From 1874-75 he continued his studies in Rome, where he was commissioned to paint an altarpiece for the Favoriten Church in Vienna. Two years later he moved to Paris where he set up a studio and took French nationality, changing his name to "Rodolphe".
He began exhibiting at the Paris Salon in 1877. His early Salon paintings were mainly portraits and European interiors. It was not until 1885 that he made his debut in Orientalist painting exhibiting "Dans la Médersa", which probably dates from just after his travels to Spain and Morocco. From this point he painted almost exclusively Orientalist scenes. The notes and sketches made during Ernst's journeys to Granada, Morocco, and later to Constantinople in 1890, provided the material for these paintings. Usually set against a Moroccan, Turkish or Hispano-Moorish background, his favourite subjects included Nubian guards, palaces, richly decorated mosque interiors, nargilah smokers, street scenes and even tiger hunts.
Ernst was particularly interested in the decorative arts of the countries he visited and almost certainly brought back artefacts with which to decorate his house and to use as accessories in his paintings. He captures the textures of fabrics, motifs of cushions and carpets, ceramic tiles and metalwork with photographic precision. They are depicted in jewel-like colours of garnet red, coral pink, turquoise and emerald green, usually with one or two figures in gorgeous silken robes. The variety of oriental objects depicted in his work and his close attention to detail give his paintings an air of authenticity and an exotic atmosphere. Ernst was also appreciated during his lifetime for his ceramic tiles depicting figures in Muslim dress. In fact, at the turn of the century, he was as well known for these as for his Orientalist paintings.
Ernst's style of painting is often discussed along the same terms as Ludwig Deutsch (1855-1935), another Austrian Orientalist who came to study in Paris shortly after Ernst, and with whom Ernst became close friends. Both artists were influenced by the photographic realism and rich glossy colours, in the paintings by Jean-Léon Gérôme. They also favoured similar subjects, such as mosque interiors at the time of prayer, Arab street traders and Palace guards. Ernst, however, probably had a freer, more imaginative approach to his subject, incorporating greater variety of detail.
Ernst exhibited at Vienna and Munich from 1875. He also participated in the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889, where he won a bronze medal, and also in 1900, and he was a regular contributor to the Salon des Artistes Français for nearly 60 years.
The 1890s were his most productive decade. Although his paintings were practically ignored by critics of his day, they were sought after by collectors, so much so that he was sometimes asked to produce replicas to meet demand. He was also commissioned to produce paintings by important French personalities, usually portraits.
Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, San Francisco, CA, Dahesh Museum, New York, Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz and the Dolmabahçe Saray in Istanbul.
Benezit, Dictionary of Painters, Vol II, p189
Botticher, Works of Art of the 19th Century I (1891)
Catalogue, Salon Society of French Art, Paris 1879-1913
"Les Orientalistes des Ecoles Allemande et Autrichienne" by Martina Haja & Günther Wimmer (ACR Editions, Paris, 2000), pp226-234
Paris Universal Exhibition 1900 Catalogues, General Works of Art, p291
"The Najd Collection" by Caroline Juler (1991), pp74-105
"The Orientalists Painter-Travellers 1828-1908" by Lynne Thornton (ACR Editions, Paris, 1983), pp224-228
Gustave Nicolas Pinel
French 1842 – 1896
The Home Dwelling
Oil on canvas, signed lower left
Image size: 18 x 14 ¾ inches (45.5 x 37.5 cm)
Original gilt frame
The light shining down to the steps gives the effect of heat and brings to life the space below. Unlike many other Orientalist who painted scenes of their imagination, Pinel wanted to capture the real people he saw and their everyday lives. The detail in his paintings captures the surprising beauty of the places that these people lived in.
1850 – 1939
THE GOLDEN HEADDRESS
Oil on canvas, signed upper left
Image size: 21 x 16 inches (53.5 x 40.5 cm)
Vincenzo Loria trained as an artist in his native country of Italy. He moved to Rome where he spent most of his life. He worked mostly in watercolours and specialised in romantic scenes set in the Italian countryside. However, he also painted a large number of Islamic scenes such as 'Si và al bagno’, 'The Public Letter Writer' and 'Portrait of a Turkish lady smoking the hookah'.
With the help of Mazzoleni and an English dealer called Dudens, most of his works were bought by private collectors in England and the United States. In 1925, Loria settled in Tuscany, having established his reputation as a fashionable artist.
His works are well executed and show a strong understanding of light and shade within the subject.
'Costumes of Rome 800' by M Fagiolo & M Marini
Exhibition Catalogue - Centro Sviluppo Antiquariato & Arte, Rome 1978
Catalogue Bolaffi della pittura Italiana dell'Ottocento, No. 14 Milan 1985
Italian 1857 – 1917
Watercolour, signed lower left
Image size: 10 x 14 ¼ inches
Acid free mount and ornate orientalist frame
Born to a military and banking family in Rome in 1858, Rosati studied painting at the San Luca Academy in Rome from 1875, under the painter, architect and poet Francesco Podesti (1800-1895) and the portraitist and history painter, Dario Querci (born 1831). However, Rosati soon tired of their academic style of training and went on to study under the fashionable genre painter, Luis Alvarez Catala (1836-1901), who later became the director of the Prado Museum in Madrid. He was probably inspired to paint Orientalist scenes by the Spanish artist, Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838-1874), whose paintings were immensely popular in Rome during the 1860s.
Rosati was one of the most prolific Orientalist painters at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. He painted in both oil and watercolour, although he is more renowned today for his watercolours. His paintings are appealing for their wealth of detail and colour, possessing an almost photographic quality. He is particularly good at depicting the intricate patterns of oriental rugs. His favourite scenes are bazaars, encampments of armed horsemen and harem girls.
Most of Rosati's work left Italy and found its way into private collections in England, France and America, although today many are to be found in the Middle East with their renewed popularity and now considerable value. His son, Alberto Rosati, painted in a similar manner, greatly showing the influence of his father, but he was not as prolific.
Rosati died in Rome on 16th February 1917.
Benezit, Vol IX (1976), p87
‘Pittori Italiano di Ottocento ‘A.M Comanducci Milan (1935)
A.M Comanducci ‘Dizionario ill. Pittori E Incisori Ital. Mo (1945) p. 696
'Les Orientalistes de l'Ecole Italienne' by Caroline Juler, ACR Editions Paris (1987), pp.220-222
'La Femme dans la Peinture Orientaliste' Lynne Thornton, ACR Editions Paris (1993), p252
'Les Orientalistes Peintres Voyageurs 1828-1908', Lynne Thornton, ACR Editions Paris
'Najd Collection of Orientalist Paintings' Caroline Juler, (1991), p209
Thieme-Becker ‘Kunstlerlex’ 29 (1935) p.5
WALTER FREDERICK ROOFE TYNDALE, RI, RBI
1855 – 1943
Watercolour, signed lower left
Image size: 9 ¾ x 14 inches (25 x 35.5 cm)
Tyndale was a painter in watercolour of landscapes and architectural subjects, and portraits and genre scenes in oil.
The artist was born in Bruges, Belgium, of English parents. At the age of 15, he began studying at Bruges Academy but the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war forced the family to return to England. On his return to Belgium in 1874, he enrolled at the Antwerp Academy where he won a silver medal.
In 1876 he went to Paris to study under Léon Bonnat, a portraitist and Orientalist who six years earlier had travelled with a group of artists including Jean-Léon Gérôme to the Valley of the Nile, Sinai and Syria. Bonnat's stories and sketches that he brought back from Egypt fuelled Tyndale's interest in the Orient and his desire to travel there himself, although this was not to happen for some time yet.
In 1878, Tyndale returned to England where he made a healthy living painting posthumous portraits on commission. During the first part of his career, Tyndale painted in oil. It is believed that his first experience of watercolour was when he was asked by a young female artist to teach her to paint in watercolour. Having completed a week's course and spent the whole summer of 1893 painting in watercolour, Tyndale mastered the technique and decided that he would only paint in watercolours from then on.
His first taste of the Orient appears to be two holidays he spent in Tangier in 1894 and 1895 from where he brought back some watercolours. The directors of the Dowdeswell Galleries in London were so impressed with these that they commissioned him to paint 60 views of Egypt. In 1897, Tyndale arrived in Cairo and spent the next two years in Egypt, visiting Lebanon and Syria during the hottest summer months. In Cairo, Tyndale set about painting street scenes with a fellow artist that he met, Alfred East. Tyndale was lucky to have the assistance of a dragoman who was able to speak to the stall owners and obtain permission for the artist to use the backs of their shops as observation posts for sketching. The dragoman also shooed away inquisitive children and pious passers by who objected to the representation of the human form in images. The dragoman was not always successful - once during Ramadan, a young man protested so fiercely to the inclusion of a fruit stall owner in Tyndale's painting that a fight ensued during which the artist was hit. The incident concluded with the young man having to spend 16 days in prison, and the artist having to find another sitter!
In 1898 Tyndale sent back drawings to England for an exhibition, and the following year he returned in person for another exhibition of his works entitled 'Cairo, Jerusalem and Sicily'.
In 1905 he returned to Cairo where he spent most of the next 5 years. He was invited by an English family to sail up the Nile in their luxurious dahabieh. He also spent 3 months in Nubia and a few weeks in Luxor, sketching. The following year he returned to Luxor where he painted watercolours of the relief’s of the temples of Deir el-Bahari, Seti and Edfou. He wrote accounts of these Egyptian travels in two books - 'Below the Cataracts' (1907) and 'An Artist in Egypt' (1912), which had been commissioned by his editor to accompany the 60 or so illustrations rendered from his watercolours. The success of 'Below the Cataracts' prompted his editor to send him to Japan in 1909 to bring back more material for another book.
He was elected a member of the Royal Institute in 1911, and of the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists in 1926.
The First World War interrupted his travels but once it was over Tyndale visited Tunisia, the artist's final trip to the Orient. In 1921, once their children had grown up and moved away from home, Tyndale and his wife settled in Venice. After the death of his wife in 1936, he returned to London, where he died 7 years later.
The Roya lAcademy
The Royal Institute
The Suffolk Street Galleries.
Leicester Gallery (1910 and 1912)
Waring and Gillows (1913)
The Fine Art Society (1920 and 1924)
G. Ackerman (ACR Edition, Paris,) 'Les Orientalistes de l'Ecole Britannique'
H. L. Mallalieu (Antique Collectors Club, England) 'The Dictionary of British Watercolour Artists up to 1920'
L. Thornton (ACR Edition, Paris) 'The Orientalists Painter-Travellers 1828-1908'
C. Wood (Antique Collectors Club, England) 'The Dictionary of Victorian Painters'
JOHN EDWARD GOODALL
1853 - 1920
Leading the Way
Pencil, watercolour and gouache, signed lower right
Image size: 6 ¼ x 8 ¼ inches (16 x 21 cm)
Hand made gilt frame
John Edward Goodall was the son of Alfred Goodall and Mary Palmer. Alfred was a brother to Edward A. and Frederick Goodall, both accomplished artists. He was most prolific during the period between 1877 and 1911. In the 1891 census he is shown as being married to Grace, manager of the Sommerville Club, London but by 1901 he is to be found with a woman named Annie. John associated with a bohemian art circle and tended to have a corresponding lifestyle.
The work produced by Goodall is well executed and often in watercolour. He trained at art school in London and travelled extensively. He was not the prolific artist like his uncles and a lot about his life is still unknown.
The watercolour “The Chosen Path” is an intriguing picture of a scout showing a chieftain and his warriors a choice of paths. The horses have been well observed by Goodall, looking very elegant and composed. In the background the spears shine out at the ready.
Royal Marines Museum
National Portrait Gallery
ALBERT GOODWIN RWS
British 1845 – 1932
Watercolour & bodycolour on tinted paper, signed & inscribed lower right
Image size: 9 x 12 inches (18.5 x 26.5 cm)
Albert Goodwin was born in Maidstone in Kent and was able to maintain a career as a successful artist for a lifetime, as painter of landscapes and imaginative subjects. He is particularly noted for his atmospheric watercolour landscapes painted with a virtuoso technique. Goodwin first exhibited at the Royal Academy at the age of fifteen, with a Ruskinian oil painting Under the Hedge. In the early 1860s, he studied under Arthur Hughes and Ford Madox Brown. In this decade Goodwin began to abandon oils for watercolours, and started exhibiting at the Dudley Gallery. The Dudley Gallery was a natural choice of venue for Goodwin at this period of transition.
Hughes introduced Goodwin to Ruskin around 1870. It was as a watercolourist that Ruskin employed him in the 1870’s and 1880’s in his project to record endangered buildings. In 1872 Goodwin travelled with Ruskin and Arthur Severn to Italy. This was the first of many trips abroad that he made both for Ruskin and independently. His travels would take him throughout Europe, India, Egypt and the South Seas.
Like Turner, Goodwin was a master of all the techniques used in water-colour painting, employing at various times (and not infrequently all together) watercolour, bodycolour, pen and ink, chalk, pastel and gum, on white or tinted papers, with the whole sometimes neatly enclosed in a beautifully designed, hand-painted border. In order to achieve the subtle lighting effects associated with dawn and sunset – his favourite times of the day – he wiped and scraped and ‘…hammered at them with the blade of a safety-razor, a knife, sandpaper, sponge, rag, and a fitch brush.
Goodwin was also one of the first Victorian watercolourists to add pen and ink to finished watercolours. Ruskin admired his works greatly, despite that fact that they sometimes sacrificed antiquarian to atmospheric qualities. Goodwin was elected Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1871 and Member in 1881.
Early 19th Century
Watercolour & bodycolour, signed & inscribed & dated 1847 lower right
Image size: 9 ½ x 13 inches (24 x 33 cm)
1849 - 1938
Egyptian Mother & Child
Oil on board, signed & dated 1880 lower right
Image size: 11 ¾ x 5 ¾ inches (30 x 14.5 cm)
Isabella Pollexfen was born in 1849 in Sligo, Ireland. She was an artist of considerable talent, who before her marriage exhibited portraits at the Royal Academy.
In 1876 she met, at Julian’s Studio in Paris, John Varley (1850-1933). Isabella married the landscape artist and they had two daughters, Cecilia and Ida. The definitive biography on Varley was written by her.
Isabella Pollexfen along with her husband became very interested in the occult. They were drawn to Theosophy, and were of the Inner Circle who gathered round Madame Blavatsky in London in 1883-4. They are among the ﬁrst group of Theosophists who offered themselves to be disciples of the Masters, and their signatures appear in the
unique document on the matter which bears the hand- writings and initials of the two Masters M. and K.H.
Her other claim to fame, apart from being married to John Varley, was that she was the aunt of John Butler Yeats and in 1884 gave him a copy of A. P. Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism. Yeats sometimes made drawings of Isabella.
The Oriental movement in the 19th century really took off for artists from the west after a few changing factors allowed it to happen. One reason was that after the Napoleonic Wars, Europe became a much safer place to travel around, also with the invention of steam travel and the railways, the Middle East became a lot easier to get to. Artists such as David Roberts, who spent two years travelling around Egypt, the Holy Land and Lebanon, whose work the public back home could see for the first time what these places looked like. Or the French artist Jean Raymond Hippolyte Lazerges, who was born in Algeria and produced many Oriental pictures in the country, which are now important historic records. Another French artist, Charles Theodore Frere, travelled around the Middle East and was at the opening of the Suez Canal. Many artists wanted to escape the confinements of the country they were from and explore the mystery of the East. Also the bright colours were a welcome invite to the painters palette. Artists such as Carl Werner and Tristram Ellis produced stunning detailed watercolours of the Orient, again they are records of a way of life as well as beautiful artworks. Our collection of paintings and prints are available to view both on our web site and in our gallery in central London. Please contact us direct for more information.
Darnley Fine Art is one of London's specialist dealers in the Oriental period and is a member of the Britiah Antique Dealers Association (BADA).