Artist: Adolf Schreyer (German, 1828-1899)
Title: The Skirmish
Signed 'ad. Schreyer' (lower right)
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 34¼ x 48 in. (87 x 121.9 cm.)
In private collection
Adolf Schreyer painted many scenes of Arab horsemen. His paintings are often group images of men and horses charging into battle and have a rather masculine feel to them. This could be because Schreyer began his artistic career as a military and landscape painter in Germany. Considering that during his lifetime battle were fought on horseback, he gained a thorough knowledge of horse anatomy while he joined various military campaigns of the Austrian army. During the Crimean War (1854) , he followed a regiment onto the battlefield as an official war artist.
In the 1860s Schreyer began to travel through North Africa, Egypt and Syria. The dedoin lifestyle appealed to him and he eventually not only lived with various Arab tribes but learned to speak in several Arab dialects as well. Having fully imerged himself into this type of lifestyle he never lacked new subject matter for his paintings.