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Jean-Léon Gérôme 1824 – 1904, Prayer in the Mosque, c.1871
This painting depicts the interior of a mosque located in Cairo, and built in the 17th century. Jean-Léon Gérôme realised this painting after he visited Egypt several times between 1858 and 1868. It is part of a wider series, depicting Arab religious practices, and these are now considered some of his most popular art.
This painting represents worshippers, during one of the five daily prayers. That particular mosque was no longer used for prayers when he visited Cairo, but he would have been inspired by other similar sites, and by costumes, sketches, and even photographs, that he brought back from his travels to inspire him.
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Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1824 - 1904, was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as academicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits, and other subjects, bringing the academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. He is considered one of the most important painters from this academic period.
As a young man he travelled widely through Europe, but was forced to return to Paris in 1844 due to fever. In 1846 he tried to enter the prestigious Prix de Rome, but failed in the final stage because his figure drawing was inadequate. It was later that year in 1846 that he painted The Cock Fight, depicting a nude young man and a lightly draped young woman with two fighting cocks, the Bay of Naples in the background. He sent this painting to the Salon of 1847, where it gained him a third-class medal. This work was seen as the epitome of the Neo-Grec movement. From here his fame grew and he was awarded increasingly prestigious commissions.
Gérôme was elected, on his fifth attempt, a member of the Institut de France in 1865. Already a knight in the Légion d'honneur, he was promoted to an officer in 1867. In 1869, he was elected an honorary member of the British Royal Academy. The King of Prussia Wilhelm I awarded him the Grand Order of the Red Eagle, Third Class. His fame had become such that he was invited, along with the most eminent French artists, to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.
Macclesfield was once the centre of the English silk weaving industry and the world's biggest producer of finished silk. The area has been printing silk for over 300 years and at one point had over seventy mills operating in the town. The town is close to a water supply that passes through limestone, and when used in washing and dyeing it gives silk a uniquely attractive lustre.
Our pocket squares are printed at a mill that has been producing printed fabric on the same site for the past fifty years and the process uses water sourced from its own reservoir.
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Jean-Léon Gérôme 1824 – 1904, Prayer in the Mosque, c.1871 100% Silk Hand Rolled Designed and Printed in Britain 42cm x 42cm This painting depicts the interior of a mosque...