Female Riding Camel

Watercolour
1893 (painted)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Camels were used for a variety of domestic purposes throughout Egypt. Some, like the baggage camel depicted in a companion watercolour to the one shown here (also in the Searight Collection, SD.438), were bred for their strength and stamina, and were capable of carrying heavy loads long distances across the desert. The more slender type seen in this watercolour was faster and better suited for riding. She therefore carries a saddle, and her master's dagger and decorated woollen saddlebag. Goodall was a prolific and successful Orientalist painter. He first visited Egypt in 1858-59. He shared a house in Cairo with Carl Haag (see SD.458-473), and they made many sketches together in the streets, outside the city around the Pyramids, and also near Suez. During the 1860s Goodall used these for several carefully constructed paintings of rural and urban Egyptian life and of Biblical scenes. When he visited Egypt again in 1870-71 he lived at Saqqarah, a few miles south of Cairo, so that he could observe the daily life of the Bedouin. In England for the next three decades he continued to paint variations on the same themes as before.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour over pencil heightened with white
Brief Description
Watercolour, Female Riding Camel, 1893, by Frederick Goodall RA
Physical Description
Watercolour drawing
Dimensions
  • Drawn area height: 27.3cm
  • Width: 38.9cm
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
Signed with monogram and dated FG 1893
Credit line
Purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, Shell International and the Friends of the V&A
Object history
According to Rodney Searight: - `The pair, PS & N, [Phillip Son & Neale] [20] July 1970 [P88] £24'. [i.e. SD.437 & SD.438]
Historical context
Possibly the same camel as in Evening Prayers in the Desert, also a watercolour, signed with same monogram and dated 1893, in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (no.2616): see NGI, The East, 1988 (37).
Subject depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
Camels were used for a variety of domestic purposes throughout Egypt. Some, like the baggage camel depicted in a companion watercolour to the one shown here (also in the Searight Collection, SD.438), were bred for their strength and stamina, and were capable of carrying heavy loads long distances across the desert. The more slender type seen in this watercolour was faster and better suited for riding. She therefore carries a saddle, and her master's dagger and decorated woollen saddlebag. Goodall was a prolific and successful Orientalist painter. He first visited Egypt in 1858-59. He shared a house in Cairo with Carl Haag (see SD.458-473), and they made many sketches together in the streets, outside the city around the Pyramids, and also near Suez. During the 1860s Goodall used these for several carefully constructed paintings of rural and urban Egyptian life and of Biblical scenes. When he visited Egypt again in 1870-71 he lived at Saqqarah, a few miles south of Cairo, so that he could observe the daily life of the Bedouin. In England for the next three decades he continued to paint variations on the same themes as before.
Bibliographic References
  • Searight, Rodney and Scarce, Jennifer M., A Middle Eastern journey : artists on their travels from the collection of Rodney Searight, Talbot Rice Art Centre, 1980
  • Conner, Patrick (ed). The Inspiration of Egypt : its influence on British artists, travellers, and designers, 1700-1900. Brighton Borough Council, Brighton, 1983
Collection
Accession Number
SD.437

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record createdJanuary 22, 2008
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