The richness and vibrancy of Arabian culture stretch beyond the galvanizing events in the pages of Arabian Nights. The illustrated edition of Arabian Nights makes the stories alive for us. We tremble with trepidation at each of the adventures of Sinbad, gape with wonder at the emerging jinn from the Aladdin’s lamp and sigh with relief after knowing that Scheherazade got her happy ending after telling one-thousand stories to the king in one thousand and one nights.
We are all more or less familiar with the literature, music, and traditions of the Arab culture. What we don’t know is the beauty of Arabian artworks by many talented artists all over the world. I have picked some paintings on ancient Arabian culture by some famous painters throughout the history. Here are five paintings for you which depicts the charms of Arabian culture:
1. Study of an Arab by Charles Bargue: This artwork is a portrait. The painting draws our attention towards a lone figure of a dark man, with curly hair, dark eyes, and mustache who is sitting his arms wrapped around knees. He is wearing a significantly glum expression. We do not know why he appears so sad.
2. Arab kneeling in prayer by Charles Bargue: This artwork paints the picture of a devotee in prayer. The man in the artwork is in a phase of Salah where he is about to surrender himself to Islamic depiction of God, Allah entirely. His hands are lifted beside each of his shoulders. Even if the painting doesn’t give the frontal view of his face, we can easily guess that he is wearing a serene and solemn expression. Once, again, the famous painter, Charles Bargue makes our jaws drop with his creation.
3. Four Arab Playing a Game of Chance by Ramon Tusquets y Maignon: The renowned Italian-Spanish artist Ramon Quietus y Avignon painted this painting. This artwork is the clear winner from the five artworks of Arabian culture. Game of chance is a game where the result is strongly affected by some tools which give randomized outcomes. It is a form of gambling as people put wagers on the findings. There are four men in the painting, two are playing intently, and the other two are watching the game.
4. An Arab Hunting Party by Georges Washington: Georges Washington has weaved through this piece of artwork. We can see a hunting party on their forage for finding games in an oasis. We can see people mounted on horses, black men on feet who are probably slaves.
5. The Oasis by Adolf Schreyer: Oasis is a fertile land in a desert, an area where water can be found. Adolf Schreyer depiction of an oasis is precise and convincing. We can see three men resting in an oasis surrounded by trees along with their horses after a day of wearying trouble through the desert. There are some constructions in the oasis, probably made for the travelers who are worn by the long travel. We can also see a puddle of water representing refreshment after the long journey through the scathingly hot desert.
So, those are the five paintings depicting the ancient Arabian culture. Each of them makes the Arab of middle ages alive to us. Though each of our tastes is different, everyone can agree on the fact that the paintings are beautiful, rich in details and very informative for all of us.