Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Jean-Alexandre Coraboeuf’s engraving, “Le Bain Turc”, 1906 after Ingres
Jean-Alexandre Coraboeuf (1870–1947)
“Le Bain Turc”, 1906, after Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ (1780–1867) painting of the same name, published in “La Gazette des Beaux Arts”, printed by Alfred Porcabeuf (fl. 1895 –1946?)
Engraving on buff coloured wove paper trimmed along the plate mark and laid upon a support sheet of heavy white wove paper.
Size: (support sheet) 31.1 x 21.9 cm; (sheet) 18.8 x 16.5 cm
Inscribed within the image with Ingres’ name and date.
Lettered below the image borderline: (lower left) “Ingres Pinx” / “Gazette des Beaux-Arts”; (lower centre) “Le Bain Turc” / “(Collection du Prince Amédée de Broglie)”; (lower right) "J. Coraboeuf sc." / “Imp. A Porcabeuf, Paris”
Condition: faultless impression in pristine condition, trimmed to the platemark and laid onto a heavy support sheet of the same dimension as the other four other prints that I am listing after Ingres’ paintings.
I am selling this sensitive engraving for AU$42 (currently US$31.45/EUR29.66/GBP25.16 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. Note: I prefer to sell this print in a combined sale with any other print.
If you are interested in purchasing this engraving of Ingres’ famously erotic painting, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
One may wonder why such an erotic painting filled to the brim with naked women did not stir controversy in the nineteenth century. The answer is a simple one: the public did not get to see it. In short, the painting was held by private collectors until it found a permanent home in the Louvre.
As luck would have it, I have been reading quite a bit about harem life lately and this image stirs a personal interest. One of my bedside books—designed to put me to sleep rather than excite me—“Egyptian Encounters” (from the series “Cairo Papers in Social Science”, ed., Jason Thompson, vol. 23, number 3, Fall 2000) gives an insight into harem life through the eyes of the Victorian Englishwoman and travel-writer, Sophia Poole, famous for her two-volume, “The Englishwomen in Egypt.” By adopting the local customs and dress, Poole infiltrates the women-only world of the Egyptian harem and debunks the pervasive European male’s vision of women engaged in “youthful frolicking” and the misconception that the mission of the harem women is to please their husband. Poole advises that the women of the harem do not consider themselves as prisoners. In fact, they had more power than commonly realised (pp. 68–71):
“I am disposed to think … that women, in many respects, have the ascendancy among the higher orders throughout the East. We imagine in England that the husband in these regions is really lord and master, and he is in some cases; but you will scarcely believe that the master of a house may be excluded for many days form his own harem, by his wife’s or wives’ causing a pair of slippers to be placed outside the door, which signifies that there are visitors within” (p. 73; 2:23-4).