Théodore Chassériau (French, 18191856)
Watercolor over graphite; sheet: 11 3/4 x 9 1/8 in. (29.8 x 23.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1964 (64.188)
Chassériau, one of the most important figures in French art of the nineteenth centuryalthough he is not well known todayfollowed Eugéne Delacroix (French, 17981863) and others who traveled to North Africa in response to the prevailing vogue for exotic subjects. Chassériau spent several months of 1846 in Constantine, Algeria, making well over one thousand sketches, which provided him with subject matter for his paintings for the rest of his short life. This young woman with an intense gaze bears a strong resemblance to the one depicted in Chassériau's "Scene in the Jewish Quarter of Constantine" of 1851. Notations along the right edge give details of the fabrics and colors of her costume.