delacroix and morocco

The Women of Algiers in their Apartment, Eugene Delacroix. 1834.

This would have been painted around the time that France annexed Algeria in July 1834, after the initial invasion four  years previously. North Africa held a certain enchantment for French painters, seeking to escape the hectic, urban life of Paris for a different culture, often fetishized and feminized in art from this period, known as “Orientalism”. These paintings are marked by Islamic art motifs; beautiful, demure women; ornate settings; hookahs; and other “Oriental” imagery. Delacroix also traveled in Morocco, sketching the people and buildings he observed there.