Large Orientalist painting by G. Saloman depicting figures at the shore

GBP 95,000.00

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Object Description

Large Orientalist painting by G. Saloman depicting figures at the shore
Swedish, 19th Century
Canvas: Height 78cm, width 118cm
Frame: Height 94cm, width 133cm, depth 7cm

This sensational landscape by the Danish-Swedish artist Geskel Saloman (1821-1902) is a tender depiction of daily Turkish life. Likely set on the banks of the Bosphorus in Turkey, the painting depicts various groups of figures engaged in the simple domestic tasks of cooking and cleaning.

In the righthand foreground, two women wash themselves in the shallow waters at the shoreline. Saloman’s attention to detail is exceptional, expertly rendering the murky reflections of the two women in the water and creating delicate folds in their skirts to emphasise how they are bunched-up to prevent them getting wet. On the pebbled shoreline, other groups are engaged in cooking: the central pair lower a chicken onto hot coals in a flurry of steam, whilst a third figure watches over with a second bird ready for cooking. In the right background, a trio of women huddle around a warm mug of liquid, from which plumes of steam rise enticingly. The clothing of the figures is immaculately rendered, with gold, blue, and red accents shining atop of delicate drapery.

In the left background, three figures sit more separate from the others, watching the activity take place. This trio mirrors the position of the viewer, who too is drawn into the quiet action in the centre. This creates an encircling composition which cleverly implicates the viewer in the scene, adding to the sense of realism.

The surrounding landscape is also expertly depicted. Saloman’s skill as an artist is clear in his portrayal of the rocks and stones, rendered in light, short brushstrokes. The beautiful pink and orange light of the dusky sky replicates the tranquil atmosphere of the easy activity taking place on the beach below.

This work was painted towards the end of Saloman’s career, when he turned away from portraiture towards more genre and historical paintings. The work exemplifies his immense skill in this genre, and this beautiful scene would be a wonderful addition to any interior.

Object History

Sotheby’s London, Sale LN7623- The Turkish Sale, 17 October 1997, Lot 329.

Object Details

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