An Arab Merchant in Algiers
  • William Wyld
  • London 1806 - 1889 Paris
  • An Arab Merchant in Algiers, 1835
  • Watercolour over pencil, on paper, partly covered with gum arabic
  • signed and dated with pen and red ink on the lower left: William Wyld / 1835,
    an Arabic inscription on the upper right
  • 236 × 185 mm
Christie’s London, June 2000, lot 167 (ill.)

By the age of 26, William Wyld had selected the artistic metropolis of Paris as his lifelong residence and had opened his own studio there. In 1833, he joined his friend and colleague Horace Vernet (1789-1863) and traveled with him for several months through Spain, Italy, and Algeria. The experiences he gained through this expedition shaped Wyld throughout his life, and each exotic colour and motive served him for years after his return as a nearly inexhaustible pool of ideas. Accordingly, in 1835 he published a series of lithographs entitled Voyage Pittoresque dans la Régence d’Alger pendant l’Année 1833.

A watercolour of an Algerian merchant in front of his shop comparable to our drawing is located in the collection of the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.