This striking work resembles many traits of the work by von Ambros, sadly unsigned but obviously a academic artist from the quality.
Although born in Prague, Raphael von Ambros is considered one of the most significant Austrian Orientalist painters. Like his contemporaries Rudolf Ernst and Ludwig Deutsch, he was a student of Hans Makart at the Vienna Academy and later became known far beyond his city’s borders for his masterful scenes of everyday life in Cairo.
Following Deutsch and Ernst, the artist settled in Paris where he found great success and a ready market for his Egyptian subjects. His compositions are painted with masterful and realistic details, elevating and incorporating these first-hand vignettes of daily life into unforgettable mementos of a foreign and fascinating world.
The man in the painting is captured during a moment of rest from the arduous task of carrying water through the dusty city. Gazing off into the distance in meditative concentration, his ewer under his arm, waiting to be filled and once again continue their task of providing water to the thirsty city dwellers.
The man’s simple clothing is rendered beautifully with the folds and light striking his shoulders. His muscular arms from hard work and bare feet show an honest worker.