Cairo and the Banks of the Nile

Oil on canvas, signed & inscribed lower left
Image size: 30 ¾ x 43 ¼ inches
Hand made frame 

Emile Wauters travelled to Egypt twice, once in 1869 to attend the opening of the Suez Canal, and once in 1881 to prepare his famous painting entitled ‘Panorama du Caïre’. This oversized masterpiece (144 x 15 m) was exhibited in Brussels, Vienna, Munich and The Hague. In 1897 it was given a ‘definitive’ place when it was housed in a pseudo-mosque, established in the Cinquantenaire Park in Belgium on the occasion of the World Exhibition. Afterwards the Panorama was lost. This painting is one of the preparatory works for this Panorama.
In the spring of 1880, Wauters spent two months in the Egyptian capital, he painted seventy studies and accumulated numerous documents about the country whose oriental atmosphere particularly inspired him.

Emile Wauters was the nephew of the archivist Alphonse Wauters. He made his debut in Brussels in 1872 with “Rocky Site”, which demonstrated the astounding virtuosity of this young artist who was equally at home depicting figures or landscapes. “The Madness of Hugo Van der Goes” was the beginning of his prestige and each of his commissioned paintings enhanced it. He was a pupil of Jean- François Portaels and Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris. He spent some time in Rome, Naples, Florence, Pisa, Padua, Verona and Venice and visited Egypt, Spain and Morocco. He settled in Paris in 1890.

Wauters soon gained acclaim and fortune. He loved to display his skill on enormous canvases, with an abundance of detail. His penchant for the arabesque and majestic flourish of forms took him far away from the traditional artists of his era. 

Between 1889 and 1900 Wauters contributed works to the Royal Academy in London. He was awarded no less than six Medals of Honor in Paris between 1878 and 1889; Munich, 1879; Antwerp, 1885; Vienna, 1888; and Berlin, 1883. He was a member of the Academy of Belgium and an honorary member of the Vienna, Berlin and Munich Academies and the corresponding member of the Institute de France and that of Madrid.

He was awarded the Prussian Order of Merit, appointed Commander of the Order of Leopold, also Saint Michael of Bavaria and Officer of the Legion of Honor, among other awards.

Museums & Galleries
Hermitage, Russia
Royal Academy, London
William Morris Gallery
Various Museums, Belgium

L. Solvay, ‘Notice sur Charles -Emile Wauters’, Annuaire de l’Académie Royale de Belgique 1935, p. 35-86
Anoniem, ‘Emile Wauters. Portretten en Landschappen’, Bulletin Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert 1975, p. ?
L. van Santvoort, ‘De mise-en-scène van het 19de-eeuwse atelier’, Gentse bijdragen tot de interieurgeschiedenis 32 (2003), p. 113-130