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The Moorish Warrior

William Merritt Chase

American Art

The lush tapestries, glimmering metalwork, and contemplative warrior in this picture illustrate William Merritt Chase’s imagined view of daily life in the Middle East. To create this picture for a German patron, the American-born, Munich-trained Chase embraced Realist techniques popularized in Europe, as evidenced by his careful treatment of texture and light. Chase never traveled to the Middle East and instead fabricated the entire scene in the studio using a model and props.

This image and others nearby reveal a tendency in nineteenth-century Western art to project Eurocentric fictitious and exoticizing views onto Middle Eastern subject matter.

MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1878
DIMENSIONS 59 3/16 × 94 7/16 in., 147 lb. (150.4 × 239.9 cm, 66.68kg) frame: 72 1/2 × 106 3/8 × 4 1/2 in. (184.2 × 270.2 × 11.4 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of John R.H. Blum and Healy Purchase Fund B
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916). The Moorish Warrior, ca. 1878. Oil on canvas, 59 3/16 × 94 7/16 in., 147 lb. (150.4 × 239.9 cm, 66.68kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of John R.H. Blum and Healy Purchase Fund B, 69.43 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.43_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 69.43_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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