A visitor in the Harem

A visitor in the Harem

Julius Victor Berger (Austrian, 1850-1902)
A visitor in the Harem
signed and indistinctly dated 'JBerger' (lower left)
oil on canvas
25 x 19¾ in. (63.5 x 50.2 cm.)

Julius Victor Berger was one of the most important decorative history painters in fin de siécle Vienna. He was one of Gustav Klimt's two professors at the Academy, and one who was a significant influence on him during his early career as part of the 'Company of Artists.'

The allure of the Orient had a powerful impact on Berger and his contemporaries, including Rudolf Ernst and Ludwig Deutsch. This group of Austrian and German artists painted some of the most important Orientalist pictures of the 19th century. Berger, however, eschewed the pseudo-realistic scenes preferred by those artists in favour of opulent, exotic scenes of fantasy reflecting his background as a painter of decorative art.

Literature was an important source for these pictorial narratives, and it has been suggested that the present picture depicts the story of Abrizeh from The Book of The Thousand and One Nights (vol.II).
Source: Chrisities
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