INTERIOR OF A CUSSACK HUT NEAR KERTCH, RUSSIA, General Edward W Wray

INTERIOR OF A CUSSACK HUT NEAR KERTCH, RUSSIA, General Edward W Wray

c. 1823 to c. 1892 Russia

Offered by Charles Plante Fine Arts

Sold
Request Information Call Dealer
Favourite Item
Scenes of the Orient or Middle East have a special romantic attraction, and these finely detailed impressions are of interest, because General Wray was an Indian army officer seconded to the British backed Turkish contingent during the Crimean War, where he spent seven months in Kertch on the present Russian-Romanian frontier. He also executed many watercolours of army life whilst in India and the Middle East, holding the rank of Major-General on retirement.

He has depicted the highly organised civilisation of the crumbling Ottoman Empire, a quiet afternoon of dissipation amongst the pipes, smoke and coffee denizens of an attractive light structure dominated by a circular balustraded gallery with what appears to be a suspended chandelier and must have become an hallucinatory object for the onlookers. The clothing, slippers and activities of the inhabitants no doubt appeared as intriguing to the old war-horse as to us. The smoking den is fitted out in a highly westernised style.

By contrast the Cossacks, notorious for the bravery and brutality on behalf of the Russian cause, seem positively sedate, parted from their indispensable horses and clad in their traditional attire squatting in a miserable hut with rudimentary facilities. Both scenes are sketched with an immediacy that conveys much about the conditions and people seen by the General, who would have been fascinating to meet.ass dome-protected objects. If in town during the summer months the rooms would be dimly lit, shrouded by drawn blinds and curtains, the carpet folded toward the middle to protect its glorious colours. By contrast, the two little girls playing with a drum and a hobbyhorse are confined to the allotted two-tone rug, which has been carefully placed over the more valuable patterned carpet.

Helene Stromeyer was a pupil of the more famous TH Gude and G Schoenleber, who was later Professor at the influential Karlsruhe academy. She seems to have accompanied Schoenleber on his trips to the Riviera, where she painted flowers. She settled and died in Karlsruhe, an accomplished painter of flora and landscapes. She clearly had an aptitude in her early career for interior painting and possibly helped to finance her studies as a governess, hence her sojourn in England. Her work is found in many German collections.
E Benezit, Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, D├ęssinateurs et Graveurs, Paris, 1966
Dimensions
Height 140.00 cm (55.12 inches)
Width 202.00 cm (79.53 inches)
Medium
Watercolour
Signed/Inscribed
Inscribed: Kertch
Charles Plante Fine Arts

Charles Plante Fine Arts
50 Gloucester Street
London
SW1V 4EH

+44 (0)20 7834 3305
+44 (0)7798 626249
Favourite Dealer
Request Dealer Alerts
Opening Hours
Contacts
Member Since 2011
Members of
View Full Details