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Title Ruins in the East
Collection Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro
Artist Attributed to Marilhat, Prosper Georges Antoine (French painter, 1811-1847)
Previously attributed to Marilhat, Prosper Georges Antoine (French painter, 1811-1847)
Date Earliest possibly about 1831
Date Latest possibly about 1833
Description Prosper Marilhat was an important and influential figure in the development of French orientalist painting. He travelled to the Middle East in the period 1831-33 and his itinerary took in Greece, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and culminated in a stay in Egypt which lasted almost two years. Although he treated other subjects, the Middle East remained an enduring theme in his work. Many of Marilhat's paintings are more finished and idealised than this painting, which has a bold, schematic, blocky composition. It may therefore have been one of the studies with which he returned from his travels.
Current Accession Number TRURI:1923.117
Subject landscape; buildings and gardens (ruins)
Measurements 46 x 72 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Mr A. A. de Pass 1923.
Provenance Duprez collection, before 1923.
Publications Penrose, G., Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Miniatures in the Alfred A. de Pass Collection, Truro, 1936, cat. no. 15, p. 8.

Stamped on stretcher: 586x; stamped on stretcher: 9.2,9 CH; inscribed on stretcher, pencil: Marilhat; label affixed to stretcher: PROSPER MARILHAT 1811-1817 RUINS IN THE EAST. FROM THE DUPREZ COLLECTION 117 / 1923; reverse of frame, inscribed in pencil: by MARILHAT.

Alfred A. de Pass (1861-1953) was born in South Africa, where his father and grandfather had established a business empire which included interests in shipping, guano, copper mining and sugar farming. After retiring from the family firm at age 36, Alfred pursued his interest in art collecting. For a period he lived in Cornwall, where he took an active interest in the Truro museum, then called the Royal Institution of Cornwall. In 1917 he was elected Associate of the Institution and in 1920 became its Vice-President. His gifts to the museum between 1914 and 1947 included many works of Western European fine and decorative art, including an important collection of old master drawings, as well as Oriental paintings, ceramics, metal work and textiles. For a list of Mr de Pass' donations of Western European paintings and drawings to the Truro museum up to 1936 see G. Penrose (cited below). He also donated to a number of other museums, including the National Gallery, the Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the Fitzwilliam, and the South African National Gallery.

Biographies and discussion of Mr de Pass' interests and donations may be found in: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The De Pass Collection: Paintings, Furniture, Ceramics etc., Illustrated Catalogue, Bristol, 1936; Popham, A.E., An Exhibition of Drawing from the Alfred A. de Pass Collection belonging to the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro, London, 1957; Walker, R., The De Pass Family, unpublished dissertation, Bristol Polytechnic, 1979; Price, B.D., Biographical Notes on Alfred Aaron De Pass (1861-1952) Art Benefactor Extraordinary, Falmouth, 1982; Nail, N., ‘The Cornish curator and the cosmopolitan collector: a note on George Penrose, 1876-1951, and Alfred de Pass, 1861-1953', Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 1993, New Series II, I, 3, pp. 277-89; Berriman, H., ‘Introduction' in M. Joannides, Exhibition Catalogue of Master Drawing from the De Pass Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, London, 1994, pp. 7-11; Tietze, A., The Alfred de Pass Presentation to the South African National Gallery, exhibition catalogue, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 1995; Irvine, G., and T. Daniel, Japanese Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Cornwall, 2001.

Rights Owner Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro
Author Dr Susan Steer



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