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Entering the Harem
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Entering the Harem

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Although Clairin based the architecture and costumes in this painting on observed reality, the painting is very much a work of historical fiction. Clairin imagines a sheik in billowing robes about to enter to his harem—a woman pulls aside the curtain to give the viewer a glimpse of the space beyond. The elaborately inlaid door and the honeycombed vaulting of the architecture recall the Hall of the Two Sisters at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. In the late 19th century, Clairin was a prominent painter of Islamic subjects, portraits, and murals. He traveled to Spain and Morocco in 1868, and, in 1871, he returned to Morocco for a year and a half. Drawing on these experiences, he created dramatic, quasi-historical scenes set in 15th-century Moorish Spain.
Date Description Narrative
2/14/1938Treatmentexamined for exhibition; cleaned; other
10/02/1969Treatmentloss compensation; cleaned; coated; other
6/01/1991Treatmentloss compensation; cleaned
3/19/1996Examinationexamined for condition
1/01/2010Loan Considerationexamined for loan
10/04/2010Examinationexamined for exhibition
  • Orientalism: The Near East in French Painting 1800-1880. Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Rochester; Neuberger Museum, Purchase. 1982.
  • The Orientalists. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987-1988.
  • Orientalism: Delacroix to Klee. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland. 1997-1998.
  • A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte. 2002-2004.
  • L'Orientalisme, de Delacroix a Kandinsky. Musees royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels; Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille, Marseille. 2010-2011.
  • Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: Benjamin-Constant and His Time. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal. 2014-2015.
  • From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2014-2016.
Provenance John Wolfe [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale [from Catalogue of Mr. John Wolfe's Gallery of Valuable Paintings], New York, April 5- 6, 1882, no. 16; William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1882, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Below in center: G. Clairin
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, 1882

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ca. 1870
oil on canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 32 1/4 x W: 25 9/16 in. (81.9 x 65 cm); Framed H: 46 5/16 x W: 39 3/4 x D: 7 1/2 in. (117.63 x 100.97 x 19.05 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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