Pair of Orientalist watercolour paintings by Hans Jacob Hansen
British, c. 1900
Panel: Height 33cm, width 54cm
Frame: Height 46cm, width 67cm, depth 3cm
Painted by Hans Jacob Hansen (British, 1853-1947) around 1900, this superb pair of watercolour paintings depict two differing scenes set in the same building.
The first artwork depicts a collection of people sitting on polychrome rugs in a semicircular formation around a female dancer. The viewers are dressed in traditional Orientalist clothing rendered in pastel shades. The dancer occupies the centre of the painting and stands in front of the arch-shaped entrance to the large hall which reveals a distant sea view. She is dressed in black and white, elegantly moving red and yellow tassels above her head. Some sitting figures are holding musical instruments, suggesting they are playing melodies for the lady to dance to.
The second watercolour painting showcases a lively market scene. Numerous market stalls filled with fruits and vegetables are neatly arranged in the large hall. Potential buyers are wandering around the stalls, admiring the produce as well as conversing with the people around them. In this painting, Hansen rendered the figures’ clothing in brighter shades of blue, red and yellow, evoking a busier, more active scene. Similarly to the first painting, a large arch-shaped entrance occupies the centre of the artwork and reveals the beautiful architecture of a mosque.
Both paintings are mounted in shining carved giltwood frames and signed in the lower right ‘Hans Hansen.’. Several labels can be found on the reverse of each watercolour, relating to the artists’ biography, the place depicted and the framers.
Depicting a calm and lively scene, the watercolour paintings beautifully complement each other and portray an intriguing story of a market hall most likely set in Morocco or Algeria. Their bright colours and interesting topics make them a desirable addition to one’s wall space.