About this artwork

Melville's experiences in Egypt inspired his fascination with the decorative potential of light and shadow. He explored the exquisite, scintillating patterns of the Musharabeyah woodwork of this Arab interior, balancing its intricacy against a broader treatment of reflective materials and surface patterns within the room. The seated man's composure and the restrained yet warm colouring of his garments complement the pervading stillness and serenity of the scene. The painting was worked up from sketches made in Cairo in 1881.

see media
  • title:
    An Arab Interior
  • accession number:
    NG 2144
  • artist:
    Arthur MelvilleScottish (1855 - 1904)
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    1881
  • measurements:
    95.00 x 72.80 cm (framed 122.00 x 98.60 x 13.50 cm)
  • credit line:
    Bequest of Sir James Lewis Caw 1951
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Arthur Melville

Arthur Melville