Interior of a Mosque 1902

Signed upper left L. Deutsch Paris 1902
Interior of a Mosque 1902
oil on canvas/ huille sur toile
25.625x20.375 in (65.2x51.8cm)

Artists were not allowed to paint in mosques and had to rely on their impressions when visiting such holy places. Deutsch has captured the meditative, solitary mood of the individual worshippers.

In Morning Prayer there are some compositional similarities with his earlier paintings of palace guards. The apparent and expressive focal points, such as the red Turkish babouches, the 19th Century northwestern Persian carpet, the Syrian lamp and the mother-of-pearl inlaid kursi are all archetypal elements of Deutsch's painting. Furthermore the juxtaposition of the wine red sash against the cadmium red striped silk robe (aba) of the standing figure, set against his brilliant white turban is masterfully balanced against the massive size of the Ptlomaic granite pillar. Together with the figure depicted praying in elaborate costume, another man in very humble attire is seen meditating to the side. The abscense of a spatial hierarchy as well as one religious ceremony that all members follow simultaniously is in line with a mosque's essential function as a provider of shelter for congregational prayer. Source M. Haja and G. Wimmer, Les Orientalistes des Ecoles Allemande et Autrichienne, Paris, 2000, p. 200 and Chriestie's New York 2001 p. 40
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