The Wallace Collection

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A Well in the East
  • Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (1803 - 1860)
  • A Well in the East
  • France
  • 1847
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas.
  • Image size: 31.2 x 42 cm
    Object size: 58.5 x 68.5 x 11 cm
  • Signature: 'DECAMPS. / 47'
  • P263
  • West Gallery III
Further Reading
  • Although he studied briefly with Étienne Bouhot and then Alexandre-Denis Abel de Pojol, Decamps was largely self-taught. He made only one visit to the Middle East, in 1828 (visiting Turkey, Greece and North Africa), but in the 1830s he established a considerable reputation as a painter of Orientalist themes and of religious subjects set in convincing locations. Although his ambitions to be a history painter on a grand scale were never realized, many contemporary critics ranked him with Ingres and Delacroix (qq.v.) among the leading French artists. He visited Italy in 1835. His dry, impasted technique in his oils (which Decamps himself called his ‘cuisine’) has seldom lasted well. The subject of this picture, painted almost twenty years after Decamps visited the Middle east, is probably imaginary.