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 Pink Flamingo

Artist

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
Paris 1845 – Paris 1902

Title

The Pink Flamingo

Date

1876

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

65.3 x 92 cm

Credits

Gift of Philippe and Michèle Stora in honour of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' 150th anniversary, inv. 2010.730

Collection

Western Art

This painting is a work of the artist’s fantasy. Orientalist artists such as Benjamin-Constant characteristically combined “exotic” elements, such as rich textiles, luxurious accessories, and non-European flora and fauna, to create fanciful scenes of the Near East for European consumers. The Pink Flamingo is distinct from some more elaborate Orientalist works in that it seems to represent an “authentic” everyday scene in its depiction of two female figures, who in their boredom, tempt a flamingo with a plump orange. The banality of the composition gives the illusion that the scene was observed from reality, despite the fact that it is set in a harem: a private female space to which the artist would not have gained access. The harem is imagined by Benjamin-Constant through combining Eastern motifs and objects with classically posed female figures, derivative of his training as a traditional French academic painter.

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