Chassériau, one of the most important figures in French art of the nineteenth century—although he is not well known today—followed Eugéne Delacroix (French, 1798–1863) 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.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Jewish Woman of Algiers Seated on the Ground
Artist:Théodore Chassériau (French, Le Limon, Saint-Domingue, West Indies 1819–1856 Paris)
Medium:Watercolor over graphite on wove paper (trimmed and laid down on blue wove paper)
Dimensions:Sheet: 11 3/4 x 9 1/8 in. (29.8 x 23.2cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1964
Inscription: Graphite, upper right: la coiffeur en / velours à dessin / le mouchoir / noir et or / le vêtement / de soie blanch [e] / couvert de / dessins d'or / et d'un / voile lilas / en gaze pour / le haut le / bas d'un / voile blan[c] / sur lequel des / points d'or / luisant étincellen[t]. [The head covering in / patterned velvet / the handkerchief [or scarf?] / black and gold / the garment / of white silk / covered with / gold designs / and with a lilac veil / in gauze for / the top the / bottom with a / white veil / on which / gleaming gold stitches sparkle] A small graphite sketch of the sitter's cap added upper right and indicated: comme ceci Verso of blue paper backing is inscribed in graphite, lower right: 1600
Marking: Stamped in blue ink, lower right: TH. CHASSERIAU (Lugt 445; stamp of artist's estate sale, March 16-17, 1857)
Perhaps estate sale of Théodore Chassériau (French),Hôtel Drouout, Paris March 16-17, 1857, lot 85?; Lhurine (?),purchaser of lot 85 in artist's 1857 est. sale; Vendor: Galerie de Bayser et Strolin
Allen Memorial Art Museum. "Ingres and His Circle, an exhibition of drawings, Oberlin, 1967," March 3, 1967–March 24, 1967.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classicism and Romanticism. French Drawings and Prints," September 15–November 1, 1970.
Paris. Cabinet des dessins, Musée du Louvre. "Dessins français du Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York de David à Picasso," October 25, 1973–January 7, 1974.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth Century French Drawings and Prints," June 23–August 23, 1981.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," September 11–December 4, 2000.
Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "Chassériau: Un autre romantisme," February 26–May 27, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Théodore Chassériau (1819–1856): The Unknown Romantic," October 22, 2002–January 5, 2003.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," March 26–June 24, 2007.
Tokyo. National Museum of Western Art. "Théodore Chassériau: Parfum exotique," February 28–May 28, 2017.
"Accessions of American and Canadian Museums" in The Art Quarterly. vol. 28, no. 3, 1965, pp. 211, 220, ill.
"Ingres and His Circle, an exhibition of drawings." in Oberlin College Bulletin. vol. 24, no. 3, Oberlin, 1967, cat. no. 17, fig. no. pl. 17, p. 161, ill.
Linda Boyer Gillies, Colta Ives, Jacob Bean Classicism and Romanticism: French Drawings and Prints, 1800-1860. Ex. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1970, cat. no. 5, p. 1.
Jacob Bean, Linda Boyer Gillies, Cynthia Lambros, Roseline Bacou, Réunion des Musées Nationaux Dessins français du Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: de David à Picasso 54th Exposition de Cabinet des Dessins Musée du Louvre, 25 octobre 1973–7 janvier 1974. Paris, 1973, cat. no. 12, ill.
Marc Sandoz Théodore Chassériau, catalogue raisonné des peintures et estampes. Paris, 1974, fig. no. 21, pp. 55, 62.
Louis-Antoine Prat Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856: dessins conservés en dehors du Louvre. Galerie de Bayser, Paris, Cahiers du dessin français, no. 5, Paris, 1988, cat. no. 127, p. 21, ill.
Christine Peltre Théodore Chassériau. Librairie Gallimard, Paris, 2001, fig. no. 146, p. 129, ill.
Stéphane Guégan, Vincent Pomarède, Louis-Antoine Prat, Bruno Chenique, Christine Peltre, Peter Benson Miller, Gary Tinterow Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856: The Unknown Romantic. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, February 26-May 27, 2002; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg, June 19-September 21, 2002; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 22, 2002-January 5, 2003. New York, 2002, cat. no. 141, pp. 242-243, ill.
Theodore Chasseriau Parfum Exotique. Tokyo, 2017, cat. no. 65, 167, ill.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.
The Met's collection of drawings and prints—one of the most comprehensive and distinguished of its kind in the world—began with a gift of 670 works from Cornelius Vanderbilt, a Museum trustee, in 1880.