Albert Goodwin

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

1901

Artist
Albert Goodwin 1845–1932
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1075 x 1420 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1901
Reference
N01900

Not on display

Display caption

The Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights is a loose collection of stories written in Arabic, which were known in Europe by the early-eighteenth century. Their magic and adventure captivated the Western imagination and greatly contributed to the vogue for 'oriental' literature and images into the nineteenth century.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is generally regarded as one of these tales. Here, in an enchanted landscape, Goodwin shows the moment when Ali Baba observes the thieves entering a cave, which they have opened by pronouncing the words 'Open, Sesame!'.

Gallery label, September 2004

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