Sir David Wilkie
Mrs Elizabeth Young in Eastern Costume 1841

Artwork details

Sir David Wilkie 1785–1841
Mrs Elizabeth Young in Eastern Costume
Date 1841
Medium Watercolour and gouache on paper
Dimensions Support: 495 x 337 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by Mrs Elizabeth Young 1900
Not on display

Display caption

Wilkie was one of the first artists to travel to Jerusalem after the establishment of the British Consulate there in 1839. Already a celebrated painter, he travelled to the Near East to make studies for a future project of biblical subjects. This was never realised as he died on the journey home.This watercolour was painted in Jerusalem. Fair-skinned women dressed in Near Eastern costume often in a harem setting, are a recurring image in ‘Orientalist’ paintings. Such works underline western perceptions of eastern culture as sensuous and exotic. Many fashionable European ladies posed for similar portraits.

May 2007

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