French painter Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824- 1904) will feature prominently in Sotheby’s annual London auction of Orientalist art on April 30, with five works up for sale.
Headlining the auction is Rider and His Steed in the Desert, a large panoramic 2ft x 3ft 3in (60cm x 1.01m) work capturing the moment a horseman comforts his exhausted steed in the intense desert heat.
Executed in 1872, Gérôme based the painting on both his own sketches and photographs taken by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and Albert Goupil on trips the trio made to the Egyptian desert in 1856 and 1868.
The painting was exhibited three times during the artist’s lifetime, including at the World’s Fair in Vienna in 1873, and last appeared on the market in 1979 at The Fine Art Society in London where it was acquired by the vendor. It is estimated at £1m-1.5m.