Sometimes it takes a theft for an artist’s work to be appreciated – and even better publicity when the work of art is returned as was the case with Jean-Leon Gerome’s Pool in a Harem – which was stolen from the Hermitage and ended up in Moscow. Tale of two cities?
Gerome’s 19th century harem scenes today appear to be remnants of a ‘kinder, gentler’ era – but it’s all facade of course. Based in Paris, Gerome made trips to Turkey and Egypt and became well known for his ‘orientalist’ paintings. His paintings won a number of awards in the Paris salons.
If you like Pool in a Harem, check out Pygmalion and Galatea on his Wikipedia bio.
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Gerome died in Paris in 1984 and is buried in Montmartre cemetery.
According to news reports, the painting worth a million bucks ended up in not so great condition. Apparently no one was interested in buying this ripped off tableau. Hey, when you can buy a repro on the internet for $60 through www.allposter.com Why spend a million? That being said, I’m glad that Gerome has gotten a little publicity – if he were around nowadays, maybe he’d be smiling.