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Moroccan Market, Outside the Gates

Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (1821-1906)


Signed with initials

Watercolour and bodycolour

7 ½ x 12 ¾ inches

'Chris Beetles Summer Show', 2021, No 30

Hercules Brabazon Brabazon travelled to various countries of North Africa, including Morocco. On trips between 1868 and 1884, he visited and painted in several places on or accessible from the Moroccan coast, including Marrakesh, Casablanca, Tangiers and Oujda. Though the location of the present watercolour has not been positively identified, it shows a characteristic market square before a walled city, such as Place el-Hedim before the Kasbah of the imperial city of Meknes.

A favourite painter of Brabazon, Eugène Delacroix, had visited Meknes in 1832, as a member of a French diplomatic mission. While there, he made studies for what became one of his masterpieces, Le Sultan du Maroc (1845, Musée des Augustins, Toulouse). Its depiction of Moulay Abd-Er-Rhaman surrounded by his guards and principal officers may have inspired Brabazon to produce the present exotic scene, with its swirling crowd of turbaned figures surrounding two others raised loftily
on horseback.

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