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11 - 17 September 2017

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Walter Charles Horsley (1855-1934)

The Coffee Shop
Signed: Walter C Horsley
Dated: (18)94
Oil on Canvas 108x87 cm

As one of the remarkable British painters living in the turn of the 19th century, Walter Charles Horsley was born in London in 1855. He was the son of John Calcott Horsley. His father was an English Academic painter of genre and historical scenes, illustrator, and designer of the first Christmas card. He was a member of the artist's colony in Cranbrook.

In 1874 Walter Horsley was accepted to the Royal Academy of Arts and exhibited his works in many occasions in London. In 1878 Horsley visited Egypt, and thereafter he specialised in Orientalist jenre subjects. He was a fascinating artist on account of the entirely novel imperial themes that he developed. His famous work Old-time Tuition at Dulwich College was presented in 1920 by Sir James Leigh Wood on behalf of the relatives of the late Mr Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull, a scholar of Dulwich College from 1881 to 1884; now exhibited Headmaster's study, Dulwich College.

His second best known work is Les Français au Caire, dated 1884, now preserved in Sheffield. “Fighting his battles o’er again”, dated 1883, has been published in Popular 19th Century Painting, by Philip Hook and M Poltimore, p. 41. He passed away in London, in 1934. The painting in hand displays Horsley’s ability to observe and reflect the striking richness of daily life in the Middle East.

Orientalist Painting

Count Amadeo Preziosi

The Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul by Amadeo Preziosi
Watercolour, Signed and Dated 1852
35x53.5 cm.

In the present painting, Count Amadeo Preziosi depicted one of the outstanding historical monuments of Istanbul, the Süleymaniye Mosque. This imperial mosque was built on the order of Sultan Süleyman I also known as Süleyman the Magnificent, by the genius architect Mimar Sinan. The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1557.

As has been beautifully depicted by the artist, the mosque combines tall, slender minarets with a large central dome supported by half domes with direct reference to the great Byzantine church of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia. The design of the Süleymaniye plays on the Sultan’s self-conscious representation of himself as the 'second Solomon'. It references the Dome of the Rock, which was built on the site of the Temple of Solomon, as well as Justinian's boast upon the completion of the Hagia Sophia: "Solomon, I have surpassed thee! ". For comparable watercolours by Preziosi, please see the exhibition catalogue Amadeo Preziosi.

Orientalist Painting preziosi