Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ (French, 1842-1923)
Night Scene in Kaphra, near Gizeh, Egypt, ca. 1865
Oil on canvas, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 in.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Kagan
This delicate night view of Kaphra is a typical example of the many drawings and sketches Lecomte du Nouÿ made during his various travels to North Africa and elsewhere. Upon return in his Paris studio, he would refer to these works as visual reminders for the creation of his easel pictures. In a general sense, this sketch must have informed the architectural background of his 1867 Salon submission, which was listed in the catalogue as Danseuse fellah, à Kaphra (Basse Egypte) (Dancing Fellah Woman, in Kaphra (Lower Egypt)). That painting is now untraced but its composition is known through a photograph and shows a nude woman dancing near a campfire before a group of seated men.