Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Pasha Going Out (ca. 1869)

Alfred Dehodencq: The Pasha Going Out

A pupil of Léon Cogniet in the Beaux-Arts of Paris, Dehodencq began his career with religious paintings and genre scenes. After a stay in Spain in 1849, the artist discovered a passion for Morocco in 1853 and traveled there for a number of years. He did a considerable number of studies, focusing on gestures, attitudes, costumes and decorations he found there, which aided him in his final compositions. In his choice of subjects inspired by the Moroccan daily life, Dehodencq is often compared to Eugène Delacroix, while his fluid touch and realism of the representations brings him closer to the style of Edouard Manet.

This scene is an important milestone in the work of Dehodencq, bringing stylistic aspects that ensured his fame. This painting impresses with its monumentality and the dramatic power that emerges. The composition is in a closed architectural setting, with only a blue sky and vegetation appearing in the top left corner of the canvas. This bias reinforces both the grandeur and own pump to magnify the appearance of the Pasha, to which the crowd gathers with respect. This type of composition is found in other works by the artist, including Justice of the Pasha and The Jewish Bride.

This work shows the great qualities of Dehodencq as a colorist. The dramatic tone of this painting lies in the powerful chromatic contrast between the brightly colored fabrics, light walls and architecture, in a particularly lively play of light. Attitudes and dynamic actions of some characters add to this theatrical spirit and contribute to the powerful appearance of the whole. [Sotheby’s (via Google Translate)]

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