Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Back

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant

The Day after a Victory at the Alhambra

Artist

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
Paris 1845 – Paris 1902

Title

The Day after a Victory at the Alhambra

Date

1882

Materials

Oil on panel

Dimensions

132.1 x 106 cm

Credits

Gift of Sir George A. Drummond, inv. 1908.27

Collection

Western Art

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant was a famous representative of Orientalism (the Western practice of appropriating characteristics of Eastern art of culture) during France’s Third Republic. Although a remarkable colourist, he remained attached to academic principles. He taught at the Académie Julian, which was teeming with foreign students, including Canadians Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté and Paul Peel. Benjamin-Constant’s international reputation explains the presence of major works by him in the collections of Montreal’s banking and railway magnates as of the 1880s. The artist visited North America on several occasions, and spent time in Montreal in 1888, preparing for his participation in the 1889 Exposition universelle in Paris, where he exhibited this painting. In the deep space of the receding arches, the upright, manly poses of the sultan and his men accord with the verticals of the monumental architecture and contrast with the vulnerable bodies of the women sprawled on the ground. The women – streaming hair and tears, faceless and naked – are put on display like common objects: terror hangs in the air.

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation