Sir William RothensteinThe Princess Badroulbadour 1908

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Artwork details

Sir William Rothenstein (1872‑1945)
The Princess Badroulbadour
Date 1908
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 1410 x 1194 mm frame: 1640 x 1430 x 120 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1924
Not on display


This is a portrait of the artist's three children in fancy dress. The subject is taken from the story 'The History of Aladdin, or the Wonderful Lamp' in The Arabian Nights. Aladdin, entranced by the beauty of the Princess Badroulbadour, wishes to ask the Sultan for his daughter's hand in marriage. Using magic provided by the genie in his magic lamp, Aladdin passes himself off as a wealthy man, and marries the princess. The Arabic phrase Badr al-budur means 'Moon of moons'. Precisely, the word badr means 'the full moon'. In Arabic literature 'the full moon' is the conventional image for the face of a beautiful girl. Princess Badroulbadour is described in the popular Dalziel edition as 'the most beautiful brunette ever seen. Her eyes were large, well shaped, and full of fire; yet the expression of her countenance was sweet and modest ... every feature of her face was perfectly lovely and regular' (H.W. Dulcken, ed… (read more)