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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!'.

September 2004