• R
  • Louis Roguin
Jewish Woman of Algiers

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Jewish Woman of Algiers
Jewish women were the favoured models for Western artists in Algeria, partly because it was forbidden for them to portray Muslim women. This drawing shows a young, pregnant Jewish woman who wears a head-dress called a sarma. These were decorated with a black scarf for Jewish women, and coloured ones for Moorish women. Such tiaras were about sixty to eighty centimeters in length and were worn by married women. They could also, as here, be made of metal worked in filigree. The model in this drawing bears a look of resignation, undoubtedly caused by the weight of the sarma she is wearing. Contemporary accounts tell of the difficulties caused by the weight of wearing the sarma. Use of the sarma died out in Algeria, and by the end of the nineteenth century it had become a collectors' item.


  • Acc. No. D 5614
  • Medium Black and red chalk with white heightening on paper
  • Size 58.30 x 41.50 cm
  • Credit Purchased 2007