Orientalist market scene oil painting by Bernard

By Bernard L. (European School, active late 19th century)


Executed with exquisite attention to detail, this Orientalist painting depicts a market scene where motifs of trading, play and human interaction dominate.


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Painted by L. Bernard in the late 19th century, this Orientalist oil on panel depicts a genre scene of a busy Arabic market stall.

The foreground is occupied by a large group of people, who most likely are market vendors and customers. All vibrantly clothed, each person is seen to be doing a different task. Most are depicted facing forward, suggesting there might have been something happening in front of them, not captured by the artist, leaving this to the viewer’s imagination.

A male figure is seen riding a camel, looking down at the gathering in front of him. Water is spilling onto the ground from a vessel carried by a man dressed in shades of brown, orange and yellow. A child is playing the flute, providing a musical accompaniment to the hustle and bustle of the busy market stalls. A lady to the left of him stands holding a basket full of tomatoes, some held in her hand. Dressed in a blue garment with her hood on, a woman is seen carrying a vessel on her head, propped up by both her arms. A group sitting and crouching at the front of the gathering is painted looking at and holding sticks, possibly cloth-making equipment, in front of a woven basket filled with variously coloured spools of thread.

The background is occupied with brick constructions covered by wooden, hay and fabric roofs creating protection for the people visiting and working at the market. In the distance, a domed roof of a temple is peaking from behind the main scene of the painting.

The attention to detail employed by Bernard is superb. Minute details such as tomato detailing or the basket weave are painted exceptionally well.

Framed in a carved giltwood frame, the painting is signed to the lower right ‘L.Bernard’. A label with the artist’s name is also attached to the bottom centre of the frame.

Panel: Height 53cm, width 41cm, depth 0.5cm
Frame: Height 70cm, width 58cm, depth 6cm


Artist / Maker
By Bernard L. (European School, active late 19th century)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Oil on Panel


70 cm / 27.6 inches
58 cm / 22.8 inches
6 cm / 2.4 inches


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