Shop art print and framed art Femme arabe assise sur des coussins ; Etude pour les "Femmes d'Alger" by Eugène Delacroix

The artwork
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Subjects : Genre scenes, Portrait, World culture
Keywords : 19th century, Algerian, Orientalism, Romanticism, fabric, leaning on your elbows, room, traditional dress, woman
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To fully enjoy «Femme arabe assise sur des coussins ; Etude pour les "Femmes d'Alger"» by Eugène Delacroix, we recommend the medium size (60x77.1 cm) printed on fine art paper, with the black wood deep shadow box frame.
The artwork

Femme arabe assise sur des coussins ; Etude pour les "Femmes d'Alger"

The story behind this little-known work

It all began in 1832 when Delacroix accompanied the Count de Mornay's diplomatic mission to Morocco after crossing Spain. This trip had a profound effect on the artist and had a lasting influence on his work. On his return to France, Delacroix produced a number of paintings and studies inspired by what he had seen and experienced during this oriental experience.

This is how Delacroix's work came to be known.

This is how the artist produced "Femme arabe assise sur des coussins", a highly detailed preparatory study that would serve as the basis for the composition of one of his masterpieces, "Les femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement". This work, dated 1834, testifies to Delacroix's keen interest in Eastern cultures and his desire to transcribe with realism and precision the scenes of daily life he observed.

A close link with "Les femmes d'Alger"

Through this study, Delacroix prepares the ground for the creation of "Les femmes d'Alger", a monumental painting that would become an important milestone in pictorial Orientalism. The woman depicted in "Femme arabe assise sur des coussins" is indeed one of the central figures in the group of women who make up the main subject of "Les femmes d'Alger". With its intimate, uncluttered character, this study can be considered representative of Delacroix's artistic approach when dealing with Oriental subjects, far removed from the fantasies and stereotypes promoted at the time.

Study description

The study depicts an Arab woman seated on cushions, in a pose tilted slightly to the left. Her legs are crossed and one arm rests gently on a cushion beside her.

Her gaze is directed at the viewer, establishing a relationship that is both sensual and direct. The woman's clothes are carefully executed, emphasizing the richness and complexity of the motifs, particularly those on her dress. The variously colored cushions testify to a certain refinement and highlight the comfort that characterizes this intimate setting.

The pictorial technique employed by Delacroix in this study is imbued with virtuosity, demonstrating rapid, perfectly controlled strokes, even for a simple study. The chromatic palette employed reveals a preference for warm hues, such as oranges, ochres and reds, which contribute to creating a warm, enveloping atmosphere.

The role of this work in the artist's career

A fascination with the Orient

"Arab Woman Seated on Cushions" eloquently illustrates Delacroix's attraction to the Orient throughout his artistic career. His stay in Morocco introduced him to a culture and traditions that profoundly shaped his imagination and influenced his aesthetic. This fascination with the Orient is also reflected in other works created after this trip, such as "Le combat du Giaour et du Pacha" or "Les fanatiques de Tanger", which reflect the diversity of subjects tackled by the artist.

The place of this work in French art

Finally, it's worth highlighting the influence this work, along with Delacroix's other Orientalist canvases, had on French art in the 19th century. Numerous artists such as Ingres, Chassériau and Fromentin were also passionate about Orientalist landscapes and scenes. Thus, "Arab Woman Seated on Cushions" is fully in keeping with the artistic context of the period, and testifies to the richness and diversity of the sources of inspiration that fueled French pictorial creation during this period.


This artwork is a drawing from the classical period. It belongs to the orientalism styles and romanticism styles.


« Femme arabe assise sur des coussins ; Etude pour les "Femmes d'Alger" » is kept at Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.


The artist

Eugène Delacroix

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Eugène Delacroix

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