2 WUTTKE, Carl. A souk in Cairo. 106


Description: WUTTKE, Carl.
A souk in Cairo.
Cairo, 1902. Signed and inscribed "C. Wuttke. Cairo. 1902". Oil on canvas board (20 x 28 cm). Unframed.
€ 9,500
Painting of a souk in Cairo, by the German orientalist Carl Wuttke (1849-1927). Paintings such as these were made to be reproduced as picture postcards, an archetypal consumer product from the early 20th century. Postcards, as a convenient alternative to the letter, had first appeared in the 1870s. The simultaneous improvements in photographic and printing techniques, led to the introduction of full-colour postcards in the 1890s. Although photographs were used as a basis for the creation of half-tone blocks, which were then used to print the postcards, well-made paintings such as these by Wuttke, were just as popular. For the numerous visitors to Egypt, picture postcards were a way of "collecting" the visited sights, thereby documenting their travels.
Carl Wuttke was one of the most well-travelled artists of his time, visiting Italy, North-Africa, the United states, China and Japan. During his travels, he painted various views in Egypt and China for the Dresden firm of Römmler & Jonas that were subsequently reproduced as picture postcards. Wuttke's quick style, reminiscent of contemporary impressionism, but also of traditional oil sketches, was well suited to that end, giving an even better suggestion of a "snapshot" than contemporary photography.
Relined at the back and numbered (on the relining) "94". Varnish yellowed; craquelure in the blue and white sky parts; otherwise in very good condition.
Ludwig, Münchner Maler im 19. Jahrhundert IV, pp. 405-406; cf. Starr, Remembering cosmopolitan Egypt.
  • Number: 1738492
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum

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