PREZIOSI, Amadeo (1816-1882) and Adalbert de BEAUMONT (1809-1869)
Souvenir de Constantinople et d'un Voyage fait en Egypte en 1845, par le Duc alors Prince Roger de Bauffremont. Aquarelles de Preziosi et du Vicomte Adalbert de Beaumont [manuscript caption title]
Constantinople and Egypt: 1845. 56 watercolours hinged onto 26 period card mounts (30 by Preziosi [11 signed], 26 by Beaumont [2 signed]), ranging in size from 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 to 13 x 19 1/2 inches, all captioned at a contemporary date on the mount, others additionally captioned in the image by the artists.
Housed in a period burgundy morocco box signed by A. Giroux, original silk lining, with a later matching burgundy chemise.
Provenance: Prince Roger de Bauffremont (1823-1891)
An incredible collection of watercolours of Turkey and Egypt, accomplished by two notable 19th century Orientalist artists, documenting a journey through the region by a French prince.
Some thirty of the watercolours depict views of Bosphorus, Therapia and other sites in and around Constantinople. The remainder depict scenes and costumes of Egypt. Both Beaumont and Preziosi were known as illustrators of travel books in the middle nineteenth century. The son of Count Gio Francois Preziosi of Malta, Amadeo initially studied the law before turning to painting. After studying under Giuseppe Hyzler, Preziosi subsequently completed his art education at the Paris Academy of Fine Arts. He moved to Constantinople in 1842, fell in love with the city, and was able to make a living painting the places and people that surrounded him. It is noted in the Atabey catalogue that "Preziosi was well-known .... His studio is mentioned in Murray's guidebooks for 1854 and 1871. By that time he had become an institution in the city... He produced views of the city, and genre and costume drawings" (The Ottoman World p.535). His paintings sold well to both the affluent local and the Grand Tourist, and his reputation was such that also served as a court painter to Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Less well known, though no less skilled, is the other artist represented in these watercolours: Adalbert de Beaumont. Evidently of aristocratic birth, De Beaumont travelled extensively, and later authored several acclaimed works on Orientalist design and ornamentation.
The present watercolors and drawing, accomplished on behalf of a travelling French prince, were never published and constitute a valuable and exquisitely rendered documentary of the sites visited and local costumes of the period.