Young Girl From Tetouan, Morocco by Charles Landelle

  • Landelle captures the engaging visage of a young Moroccan woman in tranquil contemplation
  • Sumptuous patterns lend additional warmth to the vivid red hues which dominate the composition
  • Landelle’s works reside in museums such as the Musée d'Orsay and the Palace of Versailles
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-4686

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Charles Landelle
1821-1908 | French

Young girl from Tetouan, Morocco

Signed (center right)
Oil on canvas

In this important oil on canvas, French Orientalist painter Charles Landelle captures the engaging visage of a young Moroccan woman in a moment of tranquil contemplation. Seated on the floor of what is almost certainly an opulent riad, the young woman wears an intricately embroidered Moroccan kaftan and headdress. The sumptuous patterns on the floor and in the background lend an additional warmth to the strikingly vivid red hues which dominate the composition and are a hallmark of Landelle’s work.

The symbols behind the young woman may represent either the Jewish Star of David or the Islamic Seal of Solomon. Solomon is frequently mentioned in the Qur’an, with many descriptions of his esoteric knowledge granted by God. A talismanic scroll from the Islamic world bearing this symbol resides at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. While Islam was the dominant religion in Morocco in the 19th century, there was also a large Jewish population. Though the woman’s faith is uncertain, there is no question about her transcendent, captivating beauty, which is one of the most remarkable features of this painting.

Charles Landelle was born in 1821 in Laval, France. He studied under the supervision of the painters Paul Delaroche and Ary Scheffer at the School of Fine Arts in Paris and began exhibiting at the Paris Salon in 1841 with religious works and portraits that found great success among critics and visitors. Noticed by King Louis-Philippe, he won a third-class medal in 1842 and a first-class one in 1848. Four years later, Napoleon III purchased two pieces and appointed him Knight of the Légion of Honor. He also won a medal at the 1855’s Universal Exhibition and in Philadelphia in 1876.

Landelle’s career took a turning point in 1866 with a trip to Morocco. Infatuation with the warm colors he encountered inspired the trend toward Orientalism in his work. Fascinated by these brand new landscapes, the artist traveled across Egypt and the Nile in 1875, then traveled to Algeria in 1880 with his son Georges, also a painter. From 1881 to 1892, he spent winters in Algeria, sharing his love for the country with Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Leroy. An active member of the Society of French Orientalist Painters, he participated in the creation of the Fine Art Museum of Laval, thanks to his donation of some of his works as well as ancient paintings. At the peak of his fame, he opened the museum in 1895 alongside French president Félix Faure.

Landelle’s works are well-represented in museums such as the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Palace of Versailles, and the Musée de Grenoble in Grenoble, France. A very similar painting by Landelle titled An Armenian Woman resides at the Wallace Collection in London.

Mid-to-late 19th century

Canvas: 53 1/4" high x 39 1/4" wide
Frame: 64 1/4" high x 51 1/8" wide
Young Girl From Tetouan, Morocco by Charles Landelle
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: France
Type: Paintings
Depth: 3.5 Inches
Width: 51.13 Inches
Height: 64.25 Inches
Style: Academic
Canvas Width: 39.25 Inches
Canvas Height: 53.25 Inches
Young Girl From Tetouan, Morocco by Charles Landelle
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