The camel race signed 'A. Pasini' l.r.; bears two partial gallery labels verso oil on canvas 81.3 x 153.7 cm. (32 x 60½ in.)
Provenance: Galerie Bernheim-Jeune & Fils, 25 Blvd de la Madeleine, Paris; A private collection.
Pasini was born in Parma and studied at the Academy there, before moving to Paris in 1851, where he studied with Eugène Ciceri (18131890) and was a friend of Théodore Chassériau (18191856). When Chassériau was unable to participate in the 1855 French offical mission to Persia, Pasini was invited as personal artist to diplomat Prosper Bourée (18111886). This trip lasted a year and a half, during which time the artist visited Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen and the Persian Gulf. He was also commissioned by the Shah of Persia to execute several paintings. He returned to France via the Black Sea and Constantinople.
This first trip to the Orient was followed by visits to Egypt in 1860, Constantinople between 1867 and 1869, and to Asia Minor and Syria in 1873. Following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, Pasini left Paris and returned to Italy. He would either paint from memory or elaborated on the wealth of drawings, bozzetti and notes that he had rapidly executed on site during his travels. Orientalist compositions formed the bulk of the artist's work throughout his career from the late 1870s until the mid 1880s, incorporating a diversity of 'exotic' elements in these works. Pasini regularly exhibited these works in the Paris Salon, and is counted among the finest of the Orientalists.