By: Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann (1819-1881)
Created: 1872, Collection: National Gallery of Denmark - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark Rights: CC0
Try and set the mood with dreamy soft lighting and luxurious fabrics. Why not paint your own backdrop of an Egyption sunset?
Baumann was a rare artist. Not only was she a woman but she was also very open in her portrayal of the exotic. The nudity beneath the sheer, silk, the exotic jewellery, the reddening sky all infuse the piece with a sensuous quality which would have had a strong influence on an 1870 audience. Unlike many male painters of her day might have done, Baumann depicts the Fellah woman in a way which allows her to command respect and admiration from the viewer. She is relaxed and secure in our gaze but her attention is not on us but in enjoying her slumbering child.
With a Polish-German background, Baumann had a wider horizon than most Danish artists and she traveled to Greece, Turkey and Egypt for inspiration (1869-70 and 1874-75).