image © The Maas Gallery | Licence: All Rights Reserved
image © The Maas Gallery | Licence: All Rights Reserved

A Brit Milah in Tangiers


Elizabeth Murray

From the collection


A Brit Milah in Tangiers




A spirited and little known Victorian woman traveller, Elizabeth Heaphy, as she then was, arrived in Tangiers in 1839: a talented and intrepid eighteen year old artist, she had set out for adventure reliant entirely on her pen and brush. Tangiers was her first port of call, and she was to remain there for eight years. In her book Sixteen Years of An Artist's Life in Morocco, Spain, and the Canary Islands (London, 1859), she gives a vivid description of a Jewish merchant's house in Tangier, and the people, dress and manners therein, many of which appear in this dramatic composition. She married Henry J. Murray (who was HM Consul) soon after arriving in Morocco, and in the early 1850s she became one of the leading lights of and secretary to the Society of Female Painters, a group limited to a membership of twenty-three professional artists. Medium: watercolour & bodycolour on paper, encrusted with coloured glass

Later in life Murray moved to Portland Maine, where she was recognised as a "Portland Painter". An image of another painting by Murray can be seen at:

Brit Milah, also known as Bris, is the Jewish 'covenant of circumcision', performed on an 8 day old infant by the mohel.


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From the Watercolour World


Tangier, Morocco



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image © The Maas Gallery

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