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The Harem, 1876. Creator: John Frederick Lewis

The Harem, 1876. Creator: John Frederick Lewis


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The Harem, 1876. Creator: John Frederick Lewis

The Harem, 1876

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Media ID 20634448

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Arab Arabia Arabian Arabs Birmingham Museum And Art Gallery Birmingham Museum Art Gallery Birmingham Museums And Art Gallery Birmingham Museums Trust Concubine Divan Exotic Feather Feathers Fly Whisk Hand Held Harem John F John F Lewis John Frederick John Frederick Lewis Lewis Lewis John F Lewis John Frederick Lying Down Mirror Orientalism Orientalist Peacock Feather Peacock Feathers Reclining Recumbent Screen Screens Servant Servants Windows Concubines


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The Harem, 1876

EDITORS COMMENTS
by John Frederick Lewis is a captivating oil painting that transports viewers to the exotic world of 19th century Arabia. This mesmerizing artwork showcases the artist's exceptional attention to detail and his ability to capture the essence of Orientalism. In this scene, we are invited into an opulent interior adorned with vibrant colors and intricate patterns. A group of elegantly dressed women recline on divans, surrounded by sumptuous furniture and luxurious textiles. Their delicate hands hold fans made from peacock feathers, adding a touch of whimsy to the composition. The harem is not complete without its faithful companions - two dogs lie at their mistresses' feet while a beautiful peacock struts proudly in front of a mirror. The presence of these animals adds depth and symbolism to the painting, representing loyalty, beauty, and abundance. Lewis masterfully portrays the diverse range of characters within this harem setting. Women from different backgrounds come together in this sanctuary where they can relax and enjoy each other's company away from prying eyes. "The Harem" invites us to contemplate themes such as femininity, power dynamics, cultural exchange, and societal norms prevalent during that era. It serves as both an artistic masterpiece and a historical document capturing the fascination with Orientalism that was popular among British artists at the time. This remarkable piece is currently housed at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery where it continues to captivate audiences with its rich narrative and exquisite craftsmanship.

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