The Veiled Circassian Beauty by Jean Léone Gérôme was painted in 1876. The French title is Femme circassienne voilée and the painting was painted on oil measuring 16.02" x 12.83" inches. Jean Léone Gérôme was an Orientalist painter.
Gérôme travelled extensively and visited Istanbul several times. In 1867 on his way back to his studio in Paris, he stopped again in Istanbul. The artist was known to visit bazaars in order to find props and clothing for future paintings. Once in Paris he would set out to dress his French models in the garments of the regions he has visited, arrange the pose and add whatever prop he thought would be appealing to his clientele. Gerome used the same model for the two versions of the Danse du Sabre dans un café, painted in 1875.
I have always been fascinated by Jean Léone Gérôme's paintings and his attention to detail. In this light blue jacket he has recreated the gold embroidery in lovely detail. Gerome left nothing to chance and carefully chose colors that would compliment each other. Here the light blue is set against an almost Burgundy colored reddish background. The effect is that the gold and blue pop almost off the canvas.
He gave his model simple jewelry to wear, yet he painted it with such attention to detail, that once you notice it you can't help but step closer to have an even better look. The model't hand rests on an equally detailed painting of a Persian rug.
There is a nice juxtaposition of patterns going on. The rug has a larger geometric pattern which almost makes the embroidery seem even more delicate in comparison.
I love painting Old Master's copies because there is always so much that can be learned about the color harmonies, texture and patterns as well as overall layout of Old Master paintings. Many, many years ago, I think it was in 2000, I painted a self portrait as the Circassian Beauty.
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