A Game of Chess in Algeria

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A Game of Chess in Algeria about 1858
In this picture, taken somewhere in Algeria at the time when it was already a French colony, a game of chess is quietly taking place against a backdrop of woven mats and blankets. An ancient kingly pursuit in the East, chess became a fashionable European pastime in the nineteenth century. The first international tournament was held in London in 1851. Eugène Delacroix (1798 - 1863), the leading French Romantic painter, travelled to north Africa in 1832 and he later painted his own Arab Chess Players (now in the Scottish National Gallery).

Glossary Open


A movement in art, literature and music in the 18th and 19th centuries that rejected neoclassical restraint in favour of emotion and individual expression.



  • Acc. No. PGP R 876
  • Medium Albumen print
  • Size 16.30 x 22.30 cm
  • Credit Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell 1985