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Drawing - Interview of Mr. Bruce with the King of Sennaar's favorite Ladies'
  • Interview of Mr. Bruce with the King of Sennaar's favorite Ladies'
    Bruce, James
  • Enlarge image

Interview of Mr. Bruce with the King of Sennaar's favorite Ladies'

  • Object:


  • Date:

    ca. 1811 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bruce, James (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink and grey wash

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, Shell International and the Friends of the V&A

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case SC, shelf 6

Physical description

On the back, further figure studies


ca. 1811 (drawn)


Bruce, James (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink and grey wash

Marks and inscriptions

The central sketch on the back is inscribed Agow wom & High Priest of the Sources of the Nile. Geesh.[?] Bruces Travels 1777; two of the other wash sketches are inscribed with references to Boccaccio's Decameron.


Height: 16.2 cm, Width: 21.5 cm

Object history note

According to Rodney Searight: - 'Bt Holder, Nov, 1972 £14 the pr.'. [i.e. SD.182 & SD.183]

Historical context note

The drawings SD.182 and SD.183 relate to illustrations in an abridged one volume edition of James Bruce of Kinnaird, Travels Between the Years 1765 and 1773, through part of Africa, Syria, Egypt, and Arabia, into Abyssinia, to discover the source of the Nile..., J. & J.Cundee, 1812. This illustration faces p.459, etching, entitled `Interview of Mr.Bruce with the King of Sennaar's favorite Ladies'; the sketch on the back forms part of the vignette on the title page, entitled Sacrificing at the Source of the Nile.

They are probably among the original drawings for the `series of graphic illustrations', which the publishers had `designed and engraved expressly for their work.' (Preface p.v), and which may have been based on sketches by Bruce or by his travelling companion, the artist, Luigi Balugani. (See Searight Archive.) Bruce's Travels, first published in five volumes in 1790, was one of the earliest and most detailed accounts of a little known area of Africa and the Near East.

Descriptive line

Drawing, `Interview of Mr.Bruce with the King of Sennaar's favorite Ladies', about 1811. after James Bruce




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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