The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
An Odalisque
  • Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (1803 - 1860)
  • An Odalisque
  • France
  • c. 1830 - 1832
  • Painting
  • Watercolour and bodycolour with some gum varnish on paper
  • Image size: 44.6 x 36.3 cm
  • Signature: 'Decamps.'
  • P666
  • Not on display
Further Reading
  • Odalisques, slave girls in an Eastern harem, became a popular subject with French painters in the 1820s. Their rich costumes, the mystery of their lives and their sexual allure made them enormously attractive to the European imagination, and Delacroix, Bonington and Decamps were just three of many artists who included them in their paintings (see Bonington, 'Odalisque in Red', P734, and Decamps, 'The Favourite of the Pasha', P649). In this watercolour the freedom of the bird is contrasted with the captivity of the woman and the monkey.