Portrait of an Ouled Naïl

Canvas pasted on curved glass representing a woman from the Ouled Naïl tribe. This technique makes it possible to inlay mother-of-pearl on a canvas. Mother-of-pearl being too heavy a material for canvas alone. The Ouled Naïl tribe is a semi-nomadic tribe that is still located today in the mountain ranges of central Algeria. Around 1830 during the colonial era, the tribe fascinated artists. Many stories tell of the beauty of these women.

The quality and richness of their mother-of-pearl and stone headdresses amazed many soldiers. This tribe, known for its hospitality and elegance, courteously welcomed the soldiers. Their dance fascinated the soldiers and the artists. Using their headdresses and their clothes adorned with mother-of-pearl, the women dance by reproducing the sound of the wind coming into contact with the sand during storms.
Thus a melody is created to the rhythm of their steps.

Gilded wood frame

19th century

Dimension with frame:

Height: 31,88 inch (81 cm)

Width: 27,28 inch (69.3 cm)

Without frame:

Height: 25,59 inch (65cm)

Width: 20,86 inch (53cm)

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