Van Moor "The lady's Harem " and the "Turkish ambassador" (2) oil on canvas cm  60x 40 framed
Lot 77
Jean-Baptiste Vanmour (Valenciennes 1671-1737 Constantinople) A Turkish interior with a maid serving coffee in zarfs, while the hostess offers fruit to her guests; and A Turkish interior with servants offering coffee and fruit to a sultan surrounded by dignitaries, a view of Constantinople seen through the window beyond (2)
Sold for £144,000 (US$ 227,119) inc. premium

Lot Details
Jean-Baptiste Vanmour (Valenciennes 1671-1737 Constantinople)
A Turkish interior with a maid serving coffee in zarfs, while the hostess offers fruit to her guests; and A Turkish interior with servants offering coffee and fruit to a sultan surrounded by dignitaries, a view of Constantinople seen through the window beyond
a pair, oil on canvas
43.5 x 62.5cm (17 1/8 x 24 5/8 in).(2)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    A noble Roman family and thence by descent to the present owner

    The former scene appears to have been a particularly popular composition, existing in at least four other versions (see sale, Sotheby's, 28 October, 1987, lot 105; Sale, Christie's, 7 December, 2006, lot 60; one of a set of four); Istanbul, Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation, Orientalist Paintings Collection; and Basle, Private Collection (see S. Gopin and E. Sint Nicolaas, Jean Baptiste Vanmour, exhib. cat. (Valenciennes, 2009), p. 55). The companion picture, however, appears to be a hitherto unrecorded composition.

    Hired by the French ambassador in Turkey, the Marquis Charles de Ferriol, Vanmour settled in Constantinople at the end of the seventeenth century, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. A favourite at the Turkish Court, as well as in European diplomatic circles, Vanmour was named 'peintre ordinaire du Roi en Levant' in 1725, a title that was especially invented for him. He is consequently considered to be a major precursor to Orientalism, specializing in four types of paintings: topographical views, ethnographic portraits, historical scenes and, as in the present pair of paintings, ethnographic scenes. His series of paintings of the costumes of the Ottoman Empire which was engraved in 1712 became enormously popular and influential with the French Court during the following century and was copied by such celebrated artists as Antoine Watteau and François Boucher. His influence even extended, for example, to Antonio and Francesco Guardi, who painted a number of Turkish scenes, most of them inspired by the paintings and engravings of Vanmour. A set of these scenes by the Guardis similar in composition to the present Harem scene are illustrated by A. Morassi, Guardi (Venice, 1973), vol. II, ill., pp. 121-130.
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