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Adolf Schreyer

Arab Warriors

c. 1870s

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With the increase in travel by steamship and the political involvement of European powers in North Africa and the Middle East in the nineteenth century, paintings depicting the scenery, daily life, and customs of North African and Middle Eastern people became an object of fascination among European and American audiences. The German artist Christian Adolf Schreyer, one of the best known of the so-called Orientalist painters who specialized in these foreign scenes, was particularly renowned for his lively depictions of horses. Schreyer traveled to Egypt and Ottoman Syria in 1859 and to Algeria in 1861; during these trips he learned various Arabic dialects and immersed himself in local culture, including riding with Bedouin nomads. In Arab Warriors he used rich tones and bold brushwork to convey the frenetic atmosphere of the men charging forth on horseback. Such paintings earned Schreyer acclaim and supported the popular romantic notion of Bedouins as noble, brave, and fierce warriors. Rather than purporting to offer precise ethnographic detail as some Orientalist painters did, Schreyer emphasizes here the expressive energy of the charge. [Permanent collection label, 2016]

  • Artist Adolf Schreyer (German, 1828–1899)
  • Title Arab Warriors
  • Date c. 1870s
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions unframed | 18 3/4 x 32 7/8 in.
  • Credit line Bequest of Charles Parsons, 1905
  • Object number WU 2077
  • Currently on View Gertrude Bernoudy Gallery, Room 1

Real / Radical / Psychological: The Collection on Display
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/09/2016 - 01/15/2017

Exoticism and Orientalism in Modern Art
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/30/2002 - 12/08/2002

Beginnings: The Taste of the Founders
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 01/21/2000 - 03/19/2000

The Centennial Exhibition
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/15/1981 - 10/11/1981

Charles Parsons: Portrait of a St. Louis Collector
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 12/12/1976 - 01/30/1977

Salon de Resserre: Selections of European and American Art of the Nineteenth Century from the Washington University Collections
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 02/01/1970 - 03/06/1970

Global Vistas: American Art and Internationalism in the Gilded Age [online only]
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis

Charles Parsons

Inscription Recto, lower right: ad. Schreyer

This artwork record may be incomplete or need refinement. Our staff actively researches the collection and revises records when new information is available. If you have questions or comments about this record, please contact us.