‘Dream Serenade’ large Orientalist oil painting by Rivas

By Rivas, Antonio (Spanish, 1845-1911)


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This intriguing artwork was masterfully painted by a Spanish painter, Antonio Rivas (1845-1911) in 1886.

Titled ‘Dream Serenade’, Rivas’ artwork depicts a group of dancing female figures, serenading the sleeping Arab. Some are holding sheets of paper, most likely with lyrics on them, some are playing musical instruments. Several female figures are seen singing while one, holding a flowing fabric above her head, is portrayed dancing.

The colour palettes employed by the artist and their positioning within the composition give the appearance of the piece being split into two parts. From the left, sun rays enter the interior through a window highlighting the dancers and the space around them. This creates a heaven-like, peaceful scenery. On the opposite side, the colours are darker and richer, creating an earthlier look. The male is in a reclined pose on the marigold sofa. A thick, polychrome curtain adorned with tassels drapes down onto the furniture piece. Other orientalist decorations such as a rug and table surround the sleeper.

The women are dressed in flowing and loose garments in very pale colours. Their heads as well as the floor space around them are beautifully decorated with yellow, pink and white flowers. On the opposing end of the painting, the man is clothed in deep green and white clothing, richly decorated with bright gold ornamentation. In his left hand he is holding a hookah pipe.

Traditional Middle Eastern architecture surrounds the protagonists of the piece, adding further visual impact to this Orientalist work of art.

The canvas is signed and dated in the lower left ‘A. Rivas / Roma 86’. It is framed in a carved giltwood frame, the bright gold colouring adding a touch of shine and elegance to the whole composition.

The fascinating scene is vividly portrayed by the skilled Spanish artist and would make a wonderful addition to the appropriate setting.

Canvas: Height 74cm, width 116cm
Frame: Height 92cm, width 124cm, depth 7cm


Artist / Maker
By Rivas, Antonio (Spanish, 1845-1911)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Figurative Art, Orientalist
Oil on Canvas


92 cm / 36.2 inches
124 cm / 48.8 inches
7 cm / 2.8 inches


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