Work of Art

Title: Janissary Smoking

Artist: Jean-Léon Gérôme

Completion Date: c.1865

Style: Academicism

Genre: genre painting

Technique: oil

Material: canvas

Dimensions: Height: 35.6 cm (14.02 in.), Width: 25.4 cm (10 in.)

Painted in 1865, Gérôme’s Janissary Smoking continued to explore his fascination with the Orient. Here, Gérôme depicted an Osmanli trooper in momentary placidity. Immersed in thought, the janissary reposes whilst smoking from an elaborate narghile. Late afternoon sunlight streams in from the latticework windows and illuminates his uniform’s creases. Although covered in brocaded silk, his developed biceps strain against the fabric. The janissaries composed an elite unit of the Sultan’s military and were renowned for their ferocity. Gérôme cleverly chose to depict this soldier off-duty in order to highlight his hardihood. What proves more remarkable about this work is the artist’s extraordinary use of light and shadow.

Gérôme’s precise detailing in his Janissary Smoking illustrated his artistic training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. This particular work showcased an advanced chiaroscuro evident within Academicist paintings. Inheriting an artistic patrimony, Gérôme adroitly incorporated established techniques into this reflective work. By clearly delineating sunlight from the delicate wooden latticework, this detailing demonstrates his extraordinary abilities. Few artists whose works are displayed in contemporary galleries can imitate this talent. Gerome’s Janissary Smoking serves as a vital model for dissident traditionalist artists in our decadent epoch.


About Peter Sayles

Peter Sayles ist eine junge rechtsextremistischem und glühender New Englander