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The Hour of Prayer at the Pearl Mosque, Agra (Alternate Title) The Hour of Prayer at Moti Mushid (The Pearl Mosque), Agra (Primary Title)
A leading “Orientalist” painter, illustrator, photographer, writer, explorer, and collector, Edwin Lord Weeks was the first known American artist to visit India. Born in Boston and trained in Paris, the inveterate traveler was particularly drawn to Ahmadabad, the principal city of the western state of Gujarat, famed for its 15th- and 16th-century mosques and tombs with their intricate teak and sandstone architectural decorations. On his first trip to India, Weeks encountered the American painter-cum-designer Lockwood de Forest, an avid admirer and promoter of South Asian art and craft. An early business colleague of Louis Comfort Tiffany, de Forest had recently established the Ahmedabad [sic] Wood Carving Company in partnership with prominent local merchant banker Dalpatbhai Muggunbhai Hutheesing. The Hour of Prayer at Moti Mushid (The Pearl Mosque), Agra, housed in its original frame designed by de Forest, dates from Weeks’s second India excursion. It was awarded a Gold Medal at the 1889 Paris Salon, where the artist’s works created a public sensation.
signed in lower left corner: "E.L. Weeks"
J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
1889 Paris Salon (Gold Medal winner)
Sale of Very Important Finished Pictures . . . by the Late Edwin Lord Weeks, American Art Galleries, New York, March 15-17, 1905
Romance of the Taj Mahal, Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, CA, 1989 (traveled to Toledo Museum of Art, VMFA, and Asia Society, 1990-1991)
Wilner, Eli, and Emily M. Weeks. Framing the Orient. Fine Arts Connoisseur March/April. 2017: 112-15.
O’Leary, Elizabeth L., Sylvia Yount, Susan Jensen Rawles, and David Park Curry. American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Charlottesville: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with the University of Virginia Press, 2010. (No. 88, p. 254-257).
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC
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