Bashi-Bazouk by Jean-Leon Gerome


This arresting picture was made after Gérôme returned to Paris from a twelve-week journey to the Near East in early 1868. He was at the height of his career when he dressed a model in his studio with textiles he had acquired during the expedition. The artist’s Turkish title for this picture—which translates as “headless"—evokes the unpaid irregular soldiers who fought ferociously for plunder under Ottoman leadership, although it is difficult to imagine this man charging into battle wearing such an exquisite silk tunic. Gérôme’s virtuosic treatment of textures provides a sumptuous counterpoint to the figure’s dignified bearing. (MET)



Jean Leon Gerome (1824- 1904). Gerome is from the group of artists called the Orientalists. He is also one of the best known from the movement. Gerome captured the grandeur of the Middle East/Africa in his paintings. Architecture, figures, light, and color. He was master of them all. He also did paintings that handled other points in history. My favorite is the painting of the Gladiator. His paintings are like time portals to ages long past.

Gerome’s work is celebrated across the world. There are books available on Orientalism and if you’re lucky (like me) you might stumble across some of his work in a museum. I’ve attached a website that has a large collection of his work.