The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Arab Tent
  • Edwin (Henry) Landseer (1802 - 1873)
  • The Arab Tent
  • England
  • c. 1865 - 1866
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 153.6 x 226.4 cm
    Frame size: 194 x 267.5 x 15 cm
  • P376
  • Hall
Further Reading
  • Landseer was the most fashionable and successful painter of the early Victorian period, much admired by the Queen herself. This painting was shown at the Royal Academy in 1866 (as 'Mare and Foal – Indian Tent etc.', although the tent appears to be Arab rather than Indian in origin). It is a rare instance of Landseer’s response to fashionable Orientalist themes. As well as the Arab mare and her foal there are two Persian greyhounds and two monkeys, one wearing an ear-ring. Therefore the higher up the picture, the more intelligent the animals depicted become. Their owner’s presence is suggested by the two pipes in the jar on the right.The painting was probably acquired by Sir Richard Wallace from the Prince of Wales for the immense sum of £7,912. If this is correct, 'The Arab Tent' would be the most expensive work of art bought by any of the Founders of the Wallace Collection. The Prince, who was habitually short of funds, may have taken advantage of Wallace's generosity and his desire for social advancement.