Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Charles Sprague Pearce’s Arab Jeweler

The Arab Jeweler, Charles Sprague Pearce
The Arab Jeweler, Charles Sprague Pearce

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art; use zoom or download icons under the image.

This piece by the 19th century Boston painter of an Egyptian craftsman and his tools — a subject common among “Orientalist” painters — looks refined on the surface; but on closer inspection in the nicely high resolution image provided by the Met, is alive with painterly brush marks.

Pearce has deftly controlled his color and value relationships to capture the muted light in which the jeweler is working. The darkened edges of the composition are essentially a subtle vignette.

I love the little touches like the sparks coming off the fire, and the red glow at the heated ends of the tongs.


Comments

2 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Charles Sprague Pearce’s Arab Jeweler”

  1. Sargent was his pupil/student. Of course!
    The pottery sellar in old city of Cairo, Egypt, is so oriental. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/Charles_Sprague_Pearce_-_The_pottery_seller_in_Old_City_Cairo.jpg

  2. I love this one, Charley, thanks for sharing it.