• Head of an Arab

    Artist:
    Vernet, Horace. 1789-1863
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    55,5x43 cm

Vernet, Horace. 1789-1863

Head of an Arab

France, circa 1819

This is either a preparatory study for Vernet's now lost painting Ismail and Mariam (1819) or an enlarged copy of the central figure. The subject is derived from Voyage dans le Levant by the Comte de Forbin (1819), which tells of the tragic love of the young Arab Ismail for the Christian girl Mariam. After Mariam's death, Ismail is forced to leave the place where she is buried, but comes to the grave and opens it in order to look on his beloved one last time. Suddenly a sandstorm blows up and buries Ismail alongside the girl. The theme of fateful passion, the dynamic contrasts of light and shade, the effective contrast of the dusky face and the white turban, and the artist's interest in depicting feelings and emotions (note the bowed head, the sorrowful gaze) give this painting much in common with the work of the Romantic artists.

Title:

Head of an Arab

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

55,5x43 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1923; previously in the Paskevitch collection

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-4961

Category:

Collection: