Fantasy, result 1 of 1
The recent revival of interest in Orientalism has led to the rediscovery of the technically outstanding but unfairly sidelined Dutch painter and printmaker Marius Bauer (1867-1932). Bauer was an inveterate traveller, going off to India, Indonesia, Turkey, Palestine and Morocco among other destinations. In 1888 he was given the opportunity to make his first trip east, to Istanbul (then Constantinople) by the art dealer E.J. van Wisselingh. He returned with more than 100 drawings and several full sketchbooks. This pattern repeated itself again and again.
Among the cities he visited were Cairo, Luxor, Jerusalem, Agra and Benares. He was irresistibly drawn to street life, the colorful populace and the exotic landscape of parts of the world that were then unfamiliar to most people. There Bauer found inspiration for spacious landscapes and picturesque city scenes. Many of his works were based on photographs he bought during his travels, some of which were by famous photographers such as Felix Bonfils.
In late 2017 the Pulchri Studio in The Hague held an exhibition commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Bauer, "Marius Bauer: Verslaafd aan het Oosten".
This etching/drypoint combination depicts what might have been described at the time as an 'Arab skirmish', with a warrior on rearing horse in profile firing a gun in front of group of horsemen at the gates of unidentified town. For Bauer, brilliant rapidity of execution, matching the urgency of the theme, is more important than historical or topographical accuracy. This is reflected in the title, Fantasy, which suggests that despite Bauer's travels he never witnessed anything quite like this. The sublime scale of the architecture dwarfs the skirmish.
Dr Mark Stocker Curator, Historical International Art February 2018
Now viewing Fantasy