Hermann David Solomon Corrodi (Swiss-Italian, 1844–1905)
The Ambush Near Giza
Oil on canvas, 40 x 25 3/4 in.
Signed lower left: H Corrodi Roma
The sun castes an ominous radiance over the distant pyramids as a caravan meanders onwards. In the foreground a group of armed brigands creep out from a shadowed niche in the rocks, and take stock of the approaching group. This combination of exotic landscape and adventure may have been especially intriguing to Corrodi or his clientele, as the artist produced several variants of the painting (The Shafik Gabr Collection, Private Collections). But commercial gain does not appear to have been his sole motivation, indeed the artist’s interest in light seems to have been just as important. Each variant of The Ambush near Giza is marked by changes in the time of day, making them a series of explorations into light and its colorful effects. Critics were attentive to this aspect of Corrodi’s work, with one journalist for The Magazine of Art noting that in his paintings “just as in nature we never see two sunsets alike.”