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Throughout his tour of the Middle East and Egypt, Jean-Léon Gérôme acquired a variety of objects and clothes to use as props in his paintings, so that, even though his Orientalist paintings were all produced after his return to France, they still bear a strong Eastern feel to them. This painting from circa 1869 is a substantial example of that practice, as it portrays a model hired by Gérôme in Paris wearing an attire composed of fabrics and garments purchased by the artist in his travels. The oil on canvas is now exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Departing slightly from Gérôme’s usual style is the fact that here he chose to compose a portrait, where the artist usually seemed to prefer scene so that he could showcase the Architecture and overall feel of the Orient along with the clothes and ethnic types, for which he was much lauded. More than one attempt was made with different models at this same idea, but this is certainly the most successful and striking of them.
It portrays a young black man richly dressed and armed as a Bashi-bazouk, a group of mercenaries at the service of the Ottoman Sultan who received no wages, and as such had to survive solely on looting and whatever else they could get through violence and guile. The name they were given translated literally as “broken-head” or “headless,” since they had very little in the way of leadership or discipline, and they were as famous for their ruthlessness and violent dispositions as they were for their prowess.
That savagery might be the reason why the model in this exquisite portrait carries himself in a way that seems like he hasn’t surrendered himself to the artist completely for portrayal. The sideways position, partially hiding his many weapons, the wary expression on his face and his uncomfortable body language tell the story of one who accepted posing, but with severe restrictions.
Whether Gérôme construed this because of the mercenaries’ barbarism of because he understood that Muslims follow the doctrine of aniconism, a proscription against the portrayal of sentient beings, is unclear, but the latter would offer many an explanation for the artist’s methods. Regardless, Gérôme’s disrespect for the religious restrictions of his subject matter was able to introduce a whole new world to the common European, even if through an Orientalist lens.
Real Oil Paints, Real Brushes, Real Artists, Real Art. The Certificate of Authenticity which arrives with every painting provides an assurance and verifies the authenticity of the hand painted fine art reproduction you purchased. Each oil painting is created by hand using only the finest canvas and oil paints available.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Black Bashi-Bazouk 2, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Black Bashi-Bazouk 2 that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
Free shipping is included in the price of the painting. Once the painting is ready and dry enough to ship, we will roll it and ship it in a sturdy cardboard tube.
We always ship express via courier to ensure your order reaches you as soon as possible - normally within three business days. The total delivery time from the moment you place your order until the package is delivered to your door is normally between three to four weeks.
If, in the unlikely event you were dissatisfied with the painting after reviewing it in person, it can be returned for a full refund for up to 365 days after delivery.
When you receive the painting; you are free to return it for more revisions or else for a full refund minus our actual shipping cost -- which is, on average, $25 per painting.
1st Art Gallery provides a full warranty covering manufacturing and material defects for paintings purchased from our website. The warranty covers damage for normal use. Damage caused by incidents such as accidents or inappropriate use are not covered.
Depending on the degree of damage to the warranted painting, it will either be repaired or replaced. This warranty service is provided free of charge.
When purchasing a painting on its own, it will arrive rolled inside a secure tube with an extra 1.5" of white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
You may choose to purchase your painting framed, in which case, it will arrive "ready to hang". We offer more than 20 beautiful models, all hand finished and expertly assembled by our experienced framers.
Note that for safety reasons we can only frame up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached the framing option is automatically disabled.
If you are planning to frame your painting yourself,
use an existing frame, or frame it locally, you may choose to order your painting with a stretching service,
meaning that it will arrive mounted on wooden bars.
If you're considering not framing your painting at all, you may opt for a Gallery Wrap. The term Gallery Wrap refers to the way the canvas is stretched, which is by wrapping it around thick stretcher bars, about 1.5 inch thick, with the canvas being secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars.
All orders ship with UPS, FedEx or DHL and will arrive directly to your home or office. A tracking number will be emailed to you as soon as the order leaves our studio so you can track it online. All orders ship express and usually arrive within 4-5 days from the shipping date. Due to shipping restraints, many of our framed, stretched, and oversize paintings may take 6-21 days for arrival depending on the safest route determined by the postal service.