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A Fine Orientalist Painting Depicting a Man Entering the Temple by Rudolf Ernst

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Item Description

A fine orientalist painting depicting a man entering the temple.
Rudolf Ernst travelled to Spain, North Africa, Turkey and Egypt in the late nineteenth century and he became fascinated with Islamic culture and his paintings reflected his inspiration.

Artist: Rudolf Ernst (1854-1932)
Origin: Austrian
Signature: signed R. Ernst (lower left)
Medium: oil on panel
Dimension: 21 5/8 x 17 7/8 in.


Rudolf Ernst was born in Vienna in 1854 and joined the Academy of Fine Arts at the age of 15. Ernst also studied in the studios of Eisenmenger and Feuerbach at the Viennese Academy. After a sojourn to Rome in 1874, he settled in Paris in 1876 where he would exhibit at the Salon des Artistes Francais for the following six decades, befriending Ludwig Deutsch.

His early Salon entries consisted of portraits and genre scenes, but from 1886, he began to show orientalist scenes inspired from his journeys. His first taste of the East was sparked by journeys to Moorish Spain, Morocco and Tunis and later to Constantinople and Egypt. Ernst concentrated almost exclusively on mosque and harem interiors, as well as other scenes of daily life in North Africa and the Middle East. He based his paintings on photographs and prints, as well as on his own memories and sketches of Morocco and Constantinople. Ernst often blended the architecture, artifacts, and costumes of diverse cultures. His intensely detailed images glow with jewel-like color and are energized by the complex interplay of rich fabrics, decorative tiles, and intricate metalwork.

Ernst is best known for his Orientalist pictures which portray merchants, guards and pashas of the Ottoman Empire. Abroad, Ernst fell under the spell of the religious aspects of Islam and the Koran. He received the bronze medal at the Universal Exhibition in 1889 and at the Autumn Salon of 1900. Ernst left Paris in the 1900 to live in Fontenay-aux-Roses, where he lived a quiet and somewhat reclusive life.

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