This large oil painting portrays a dusty North African or Middle Eastern cityscape. The viewer stands on a street that occupies almost the entirety of the foreground and continues perspectivally through an arch into the middle distance. In the background, minarets fill the skyline, towering into the air. The street that is the main subject of this picture is populated with figures, who sit in the shade by its sides or sell wares in bazaars or move about from one side to the other, as well as a duo of camels who walk towards us. The feeling is unmistakably Middle Eastern: the dress of the figures, the manner of their trading, the Islamic influence upon the skyline, the dry heat palpable in the air. Much of the feeling is achieved using dry, brittle colours: the hazy pale blue of the sky predominates above, while the sun-washed and heat-soaked colour of sand and sandstone prevails in the street and the air below.
The painting is the work of Arthur Trevor Haddon. Trevor Haddon, who was born in 1864, is known today for his oil paintings and watercolours of Mediterranean and Orientalist scenes. Successful in his own day—several his works were exhibited at the Royal Academy in London during his lifetime—Trevor Haddon’s work is prized today for its romantic portrayal of exotic places and scenes, whether they be in Italy, Spain, or the Middle East. This painting is a magnificent example of Trevor Haddon’s painting.
The painting sits within a large, finely carved giltwood frame, which includes a plaque inscribed ‘Arthur Trevor Haddon / 1864 – 1941’. The painting is signed lower right ‘Trevor Haddon.’