Bashi-Bazouk 1869 – Jean-Léon Gérôme

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This is the highest quality print of the original painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme. The painting was started after Gérôme returned to Paris in early 1868 after a twelve-week trip to the Near East. Gérôme was at the peak of his career when he dressed his studio model with textiles acquired during the Eastern expedition. The artist’s Turkish title for this photo – which translates as “headless”. In the painting, the haphazard and mixed textiles the warrior model is dressed in is reminiscent of the Bashi-bazouks, as the soldiers were traditionally unpaid and did not adopt a standardized uniform, resulting in the soldiers wearing whatever they could acquire on a march. This a key point of the painting, as the brutal reputation of a Bashi-bazouk is contrasted by the silk tunic, quality clothes, and noble bearing of the subject.

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Bashi-Bazouk (1869) – Jean-Léon Gérôme

Jean-Léon Gérôme (11 May 1824 – 10 January 1904) was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as academicism. His paintings were so widely reproduced that he was “arguably the world’s most famous living artist by 1880.” The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits, and other subjects, bringing the academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. He is considered one of the most important painters from this academic period. He was also a teacher with a long list of students.

Jean-Léon Gérôme - Bashi-Bazouk
Jean-Léon Gérôme - Bashi-Bazouk
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