Jean-Léon Gérôme: The Black Bashi-Bazouk (1869)

(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)

Another magnificent Oriental-style painting. This time a portrait of a Bashi-Bazouk. A Bashi-Bazouk was an irregular soldier of the Ottoman army, noted for their lack of discipline. As these soldiers had a rather colorfull uniform, they were painted many times by the romantic painters of the 19th century. The person itself was a model, dressed in the textiles Gérôme bought during his journey through the Near East. The almost real-life textures are really amazing. This painting is from 1869.

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