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 traveled to Egypt twice, once in 1869 to attend the opening of the Suez Canal, and once in 1881 to prepare his ‘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 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, he spent two months in the Egyptian capital. He painted seventy studies and accumulated numerous documents on this country whose oriental atmospheres particularly inspired him.

Emile Wauters was the nephew of the archivist Alphonse Wauters. 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.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.

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 the painter contributed to the Royal Academy in London. He was awarded no less than six Medals of Honor in Paris in 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 Institut de France and that of Madrid.

He was awarded the Prussian Order of Merit and was appointed Commander of the Order of Leopold and that of Saint Michael of Bavaria, 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