Excursion of the Harem

The crystalline portrayal of Egypt’s famed Nile River by Jean-Léon Gérôme may appear as frozen as an insect caught in amber at first glance. But take another look. Gérôme has crammed the scene with on-the-go travellers. A camel caravan winds its way down the distant beach, and a flock of birds crosses overhead, while a sultan’s pleasure boat ferries his harem along the river. All of the elements are in perfect sync—a concordance of details in which, even in motion, everything is in its proper position. Gérôme, one of France’s most admired academic masters, was known for works with amazing precision and delicate, poetic details.

Object Details

Excursion of the Harem

Jean-Leon Gerome




oil on canvas

31 x 53 in. (78.7 x 134.6 cm)

Chrysler Museum of Art