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© Tate, London 2019 | Licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)
© Tate, London 2019 | Licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)

Street in a Near Eastern Town


William James Müller

From the collection


Street in a Near Eastern Town




Müller was one of the first British artists to go to Egypt, travelling there in 1838–9. He wrote that ‘of all the spots I had ever seen for the artist’ this sort of street scene ‘would prove the most fertile for his pencil’.

The Islamic world had long fascinated Western audiences, though they had generally been satisfied with recycled fantasies. Müller’s sketch represents a new, eye-witness approach. By the late 1830s biblical archaeology, and an escalation of European diplomatic and military activity in the area, fuelled demand for more convincing documentary images of the Middle East.
Gallery label, September 2004

Medium: Graphite and watercolour on paper
Credit line: 'Presented by Lady Weston as part of the Sir Joseph Weston Gift 1908'

For full details please visit the collection website.


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From the Watercolour World





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Tww Comment

The red and white stripes on the minaret and foreground wall are reminiscent of the Aqsunqur Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque or the Mosque of Ibrahim Agha).


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