December 9, 2018 14:00 EST

American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists

 
  Lot 46
 

46

EDWIN LORD WEEKS (AMERICAN 1849-1903)
"ISFAHAN BAZAAR"

Signed 'E.L. Weeks' bottom left, oil on canvas
39 3/4 x 32 1/4 in. (101 x 81.9 cm)

Provenance: Collection of José Antonio Torres, Barcelona, Spain.
Acquired directly from the above in 1965.
Collection of James Khoury, Amarillo, Texas.
Acquired directly from the above.
By descent in the family.
Sotheby’s, New York, sale of April 21, 1991, lot 52 (illustrated as "Entrance to the Grand Bazaar at Ispahan.")
Acquired directly from the above sale.
Private Collection, Virginia.
NOTE:
Like many of his fellow American artists, Weeks's fascination for the Eastern world started with his apprenticeship with French master Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris, where he familiarized himself with powerful images of exotic lands and people. The artist traveled extensively in the Far East between 1872 and 1892, venturing further than most, even exploring India on multiple occasions. He visited Persia only once, discovering Isfahan in the fall of 1892. He arrived in the city with the English travel writer and art critic Theodore Child, whom Harper's Magazine had commissioned to write a series of articles about the Eastern world. Of all his eastern expeditions, Weeks considered his visit to the "Half-Of-The-World" city as the true highlight of his trip.
Painted between 1901 and 1903, the present work is directly related to " Ispahan," which the artist exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1901 - just two years before his death. Similar to Week's other compositions, "Isfahan Bazaar" features an above eye-level view of the city's densely packed market. To the left, the artist captures the alluring beauty of an anonymous walker. Elegantly dressed, she is the true focus of the painting. Behind her, in the sunlight, is a turbaned man holding a wicker sack - he is most likely the woman's shopping assistant. To the right, on the opposite side of the sunlit canal, sits the city's mosque. Week's rendering of the detailed, colorful and ornamented architecture of the building is mesmerizing. The artist, especially skillful at capturing light and shadows, masterfully depicts the beauty of the city bathed in sunlight.
Although certain details of the present painting relate to Week's general observations in the Persian Empire, the main building in the background is directly inspired by the artist's real-life studies of the Imperial Bazaar at Isfahan and its historic mosque. Surprisingly enough however, this skillfully rendered piece was in fact executed in the artist's studio in Paris. Indeed, Weeks often used photographs and sketches, as well as his own notes and memoirs to recreate a scene, a true tour de force for this ambitious young artist who sought to capture the essence of the East "from memory."
We wish to thank Dr. Ellen K. Morris for confirming the authenticity of the present lot. The painting will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the Artist's work, and will be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Sold for $33,750
Estimated at $30,000 - $50,000


 

Signed 'E.L. Weeks' bottom left, oil on canvas
39 3/4 x 32 1/4 in. (101 x 81.9 cm)

Provenance: Collection of José Antonio Torres, Barcelona, Spain.
Acquired directly from the above in 1965.
Collection of James Khoury, Amarillo, Texas.
Acquired directly from the above.
By descent in the family.
Sotheby’s, New York, sale of April 21, 1991, lot 52 (illustrated as "Entrance to the Grand Bazaar at Ispahan.")
Acquired directly from the above sale.
Private Collection, Virginia.
NOTE:
Like many of his fellow American artists, Weeks's fascination for the Eastern world started with his apprenticeship with French master Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris, where he familiarized himself with powerful images of exotic lands and people. The artist traveled extensively in the Far East between 1872 and 1892, venturing further than most, even exploring India on multiple occasions. He visited Persia only once, discovering Isfahan in the fall of 1892. He arrived in the city with the English travel writer and art critic Theodore Child, whom Harper's Magazine had commissioned to write a series of articles about the Eastern world. Of all his eastern expeditions, Weeks considered his visit to the "Half-Of-The-World" city as the true highlight of his trip.
Painted between 1901 and 1903, the present work is directly related to " Ispahan," which the artist exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1901 - just two years before his death. Similar to Week's other compositions, "Isfahan Bazaar" features an above eye-level view of the city's densely packed market. To the left, the artist captures the alluring beauty of an anonymous walker. Elegantly dressed, she is the true focus of the painting. Behind her, in the sunlight, is a turbaned man holding a wicker sack - he is most likely the woman's shopping assistant. To the right, on the opposite side of the sunlit canal, sits the city's mosque. Week's rendering of the detailed, colorful and ornamented architecture of the building is mesmerizing. The artist, especially skillful at capturing light and shadows, masterfully depicts the beauty of the city bathed in sunlight.
Although certain details of the present painting relate to Week's general observations in the Persian Empire, the main building in the background is directly inspired by the artist's real-life studies of the Imperial Bazaar at Isfahan and its historic mosque. Surprisingly enough however, this skillfully rendered piece was in fact executed in the artist's studio in Paris. Indeed, Weeks often used photographs and sketches, as well as his own notes and memoirs to recreate a scene, a true tour de force for this ambitious young artist who sought to capture the essence of the East "from memory."
We wish to thank Dr. Ellen K. Morris for confirming the authenticity of the present lot. The painting will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the Artist's work, and will be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

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