AZEGLIO, Massimo Taparelli, Marquis d'
(b. 1798, Torino, d. 1866, Torino)
Arabs on Horsebackc. 1840
Oil on metal plate, 29 x 42 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence
Orientalism was a facet of Romanticism, which was very much cherished by a number of French artists, among them Delacroix, whose works appear to have been a source of inspiration for this scene. D'Azeglio, a complex man with many simultaneous interests as a politician, novelist, and painter, depicts here the scene of a violent exchange between a group of Arabs in traditional garb and others whose identities remain unclear. The main focus of attention is on what the artist perceived as the wild, exotic atmosphere of northern Africa.