Set of four antique Orientalist watercolour paintings by Rappini

By Rappini, Vittorio (Italian, 1877-1939)


Depicting four vignettes of everyday Middle Eastern life, these charming watercolours are expertly rendered by a notable Italian artist.


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This charming set of Orientalist paintings is superbly rendered in delicate pastel watercolours.

Each of the four paintings depicts a vignette of a street scene, set within the Middle East. Each paper is ensconced in an elegant giltwood frame, the lower edge of which is inscribed with the title of the work and the name of the artist. The four paintings are entitled ‘A Street Scene in Tripoli’, ‘The Water Carriers’, ‘Interior of a Harem’, and ‘A Fruit Seller’ respectively. As such, these four paintings provide a variety of images of daily life in the Middle East, with the first set in Libya specifically. Each painting is populated by female figures, discussing produce, waiting for custom, or simply going about their day. The women are dressed in beautiful flowing robes and headscarves, and the bright blue and yellow tones of the fabric stand out against the more neutral backgrounds.

The scenes are set within typical Orientalist exteriors, marked by the distinctive architecture and pale stone. The cobbled streets are filled with additional background figures, adding to the realism of the scene. Smaller details, such as the towering baskets of fruit, patterned rugs, and water vessels, have been expertly rendered by the artist. The bright blue of the sky, which can be glimpsed through windows and arches, contrasts beautifully with the sandstone.

Each painting is signed in the lower right corner ‘Rappini’. Born in Italy, Vittorio Rappini (1877-1939) is known for his Orientalist genre scenes, and this set from the Mayfair Gallery collection is a fine example of his delicate watercolour work.

This fine set of sensitively rendered scenes would make a wonderful addition to any collection of Orientalist artwork.

Paper: Height 34cm, width 23cm
Frame: Height 53cm, width 39cm, depth 3cm


Artist / Maker
By Rappini, Vittorio (Italian, 1877-1939)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Early 20th Century
Early 20th Century
Figurative Art, Orientalist
Giltwood, Paper, Watercolour


53 cm / 20.9 inches
39 cm / 15.4 inches
3 cm / 1.2 inches


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