A Circassian Woman in the Harem, Felix Auguste Clement

Circassian Woman in the Harem

success. "Modelling from Life" represents the workshop of a maker of plaster casts. In the background are seen casts from the antique; one of a figure by Michel Angelo, and one of a head by Donatello; the mortar with its swinging pestle for pulverizing plaster, sacks of plaster, and the tubs, bowls, sieves, and the like used in the trade. The mould maker has been taking a cast from life. The nude model is perched on the stand, and the master is removing the first half of the mould from her leg, while his assistant holds the section section in place. These casts from life of arms and legs are very generally used in the preliminary drawing classes of the art schools. Dantan, as this picture shows, was a realist, but in the purest spirit. he enjoys high and profitable repute as a portrait painter also.

A part of F.A. Clement's labor during his long sojourn in Egypt was in painting pictures for the uncle of the Khedive. He was only partially paid for these, and after his return to France instituted a long and costly suit against the old Egyptian voluptuary for the balance. Unfortunately for him the Khedive was deposed and pensioned off in exile, so the poor artist had only his trouble for his pains, for the ruin of Halim Pacha, the uncle, followed his nephew's deposition. One of the last pictures Halim Pacha ordered from him was a portrait of a new Circassian slave whom he had bought, but the artist refused to deliver it and took it to France with him, where he finished and sent it tot he Salon of 1880. It proved extremely successful, and won the artist much merited credit. "A Circassian Woman in the Harem" is now in one of the French provincial museums.

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Chapter 11 Text

Felix Auguste Clement

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