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Louis Emile Pinel de Grandchamp - French Donkey Driver of Cairo

Louis Emile Pinel de Grandchamp (1831-1894)
French Donkey Driver of Cairo, undated
OIL ON PAPER MOUNTED ON PANEL, 12 15/16 X 9 3/4 inches
Gift of Horace Fairbanks

The later nineteenth century was a period of rapid change and globalization, much like the present day. Many artists shared an interest in foreign cultures, but even among them Pinel de Grandchamp was unusual, spending fifteen years exploring the Orient beginning in 1849 at the age of eighteen. Much like his peers' portray­als of urban life in the Western world, Pinel de Grand-champ here portrays a young boy at work. By depicting a child, rather than an adult, the artist engaged the curiosity and empathy of his viewers for his foreign subject without also stirring fear.