Edwin Lord Weeks (American, 1849-1903)
Market in Ispahan or Caravansary outside the Bazaar in Ispahan
Signed "ELWeeks" l.l., titled and dated "c. 1885" on a label from The Jordan-Volpe Gallery, New York, affixed to the frame backing board.
Oil on canvas, 18 1/2 x 22 3/8 in. (47.0 x 56.5 cm), in a period frame.
Condition: Lined, thin horizontal line of retouch to l.l. quadrant, possible retouch to c.l. edge, fine, stable craquelure.
Provenance: From the collection of Howard P. Diamond, M.D., New York, a prominent nasal plastic surgeon.
N.B. Born in Newtonville, Massachusetts, Edwin Lord Weeks lived most of his life abroad. He studied with Jean-Louis Jerome and Léon Bonnat in Paris and settled in that city in 1880. Throughout his career Weeks travelled widely in North Africa, the Middle East, Spain, and India, inspiring the paintings and prints that brought him great recognition as an accomplished Orientalist.
Dr. Ellen K. Morris reviewed the painting at hand via digital photographs, and she writes that the painting was executed c. 1893-95 in Weeks's Paris studio based on studies Weeks did in Ispahan during his expedition across Persia in the autumn of 1892. The painting depicts a man in typical Persian headwear riding a heavily decorated camel outside a portion of the bazaar in Ispahan, with various vendors adjacent to the bazaar and its typical blue grille-work shelters echoed in the vestments of the figure on the camel. The most compelling wares for sale are the shiny metal pots and pans in the right foreground, a favorite element for Weeks to depict. The entire scene is shown in brilliant sunlight contrasted with deep shadow in which the contours of another camel can be seen. This contrast is typical of Weeks's oeuvre. Caravansary refers to an overnight shelter for camels in Persia. Weeks recreated elements from this painting in three engravings for his book From the Black Sea through Persia and India, published in 1895.
We would like to thank Dr. Ellen K. Morris for her assistance with this lot. A letter of authenticity from Dr. Morris accompanies the painting, and the work will be included in the Weeks catalogue raisonné.
Horizontal line of retouch, measuring 2-3/4 inches across, is located in the lower left quadrant just below the knees of the foreground camel. Possible retouch to c.l. edge, although it may be varnish reflection under UV.
An alternate title, Scene in Ispahan, is inscribed on a presentation plaque on the front of the frame.
Acccording to Dr. Morris, author of the Weeks catalogue raisonne, the date of c. 1885 provided on the Jordan-Volpe label is incorrect.
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