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Arabs Playing Chess

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Arabs Playing Chess 1847 - 1849

Not on display

According to Delacroix’s journal, he worked on this painting in July 1847 while staying at his small house in Champrosay, just outside Paris. Delacroix had visited North Africa in 1832, and the scenes that this trip had exposed him to were to have a lasting influence on his work. There are numerous notes regarding draught players in his African journal. From a distance of over a decade, Delacroix felt that he was more able to capture the poetic aspect of exotic subjects, and not be distracted by a desire to attain absolute accuracy, which he believed was ultimately untruthful. A year after this was painted it was reproduced as a print, but with the subject altered. The setting was given as Jerusalem, and the water carrier was described as Rebecca returning from the well.


  • Acc. No. NG 2190
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 46.00 x 55.00 cm (framed: 80.30 x 71.40 x 10.20 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1957