Armand Point and Islamic Architecture

About the Painting

Set in Algiers, North Africa, the painting shows a quiet scene of domestic life. An old man, the Arab Weaver, weaves the edging for a thick red cloth. A young woman winds wool onto a spindle, watched by a child who is tending the coffee (or tea) and by another woman who splits a pomegranate. A fifth figure, in the shadow of the doorway carries an enormous bowl up the steps into an interior room.

 

In this painting, Armand Point was interested in recording things as he saw them. Unusual for an ' orientalist' work, this painting has an everyday quality, perhaps because Armand Point knew this world so well and did not view it as exotic. Point was inspired by the rise of Realism in the mid-nineteenth century, where artists such as the Pre-Raphaelites were concerned with painting the world as they found it, in the most truthful and accurate way.


The painting is displayed in its original frame which is decorated with carved, stylised Islamic calligraphy, quoting a verse from the Koran: 'Only he shall tend to God's mosques who believes in God and the Last Day'.

Armand Point painted An Arab Weaver in 1886 when he was 25 years old and working in Algiers. The painting was bought by Jonathan Holden, a member of the Holden family of millowners whose business was based in Bradford. They owned mills in France and an estate in Algeria. When Point exhibited this painting in the Paris Salon of 1886, Jonathon Holden is listed in the catalogue as the owner. On Holden's death in 1906, the picture was bequeathed to the City of Bradford, and entered the collections of Cartwright Hall Art Gallery.

This is a Google map reference to Algiers, the setting of the painting




 
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