Jean-Léon Gérôme: The Veiled Circassian (1876)

(private Collection)

Circassia is a region in the Northern Caucasus in what now is Russia and Georgia. Circassian women were thought to be very beautiful and were very desirable as concibunes in the Ottoman empire. These Circassian women were also painted a several Western artists as ideals of feminine beauty. the circassian woman is however a model from Paris. As with the Bashi-bazouk (see earlier), Gérôme bought the clothes in the Middle-East and had used it to make a portrait when he was back home. The veil used to be green but over time the colour blackened. This painting is from 1876.

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