Artist: Rudolf Ernst
Title: A Sultan with a Tiger
Signed 'R. Ernst' lower right
Medium: Oil on Panel
Size: 39.5x31.25 in (100.4x80cm)
Austrian Orientalist, 1854-1932
A Sultan with a Tiger is one of several paintings loosely inspired by India (a country Ernst never visited), in which the artist reveals the extent to which he indulged his own and his audience's imaginations. It combines textiles from Europe and Asia, sculpture from India, tiles from North Africa, a modern Cairo-ware lamp, with a Nubian figure in Islamic dress. Typically, the picture includes just a single, exotically dressed figure, who is given added drama not only by the tiger, but also by Ernst's favorite compositional technique of depicting his subjects from a low perspective, heightening their grandeur and presence.