The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 5, 2024

Leaving the Oasis

Leaving the Oasis

(French, 1824–1904)
Framed: 67.3 x 98.4 x 9.5 cm (26 1/2 x 38 3/4 x 3 3/4 in.); Unframed: 50 x 81.2 cm (19 11/16 x 31 15/16 in.)
Location: not on view


Leaving the Oasis repeats several themes in Gérôme's art—camel caravans, oases, and expansive desert landscapes. As an academic realist, Gérôme painted everyday scenes in a meticulous and polished style. Here he carefully rendered the unique forms of the figures' dress and the camels' physical features, as well as the colors of the changing sky and the violet shadows cast by the airborne dogs and the legs of the camels. Although the picture's smoothness and detail suggest a photographic image, Gérôme actually composed his paintings in the studio, basing them on memories and sketches from his visits to the Near East. Following his first trip to Egypt in 1856, he developed into a major figure among 19th-century "Orientalists"—artists who specialized in representing Near Eastern life, culture, and landscapes.
  • New York sale, Parke-Bernet, 25 April 1968 (lot 265, repr.).
    Los Angeles sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, 27 May 1974 (lot 81, repr.).
    Mr. and Mrs. Noah L. Butkin, Cleveland. Given to the CMA in 1977.
  • Argencourt, Louise d', and Roger Diederen. Catalogue of Paintings. Pt. 4. European Paintings of the 19th Century. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1974. Mentioned and reproduced: P. 296-297, Vol. I, no. 106
    Ackerman, Gerald M. Jean-Léon Gérôme: monographie révisée, catalogue raisonné mis à jour. Courbevoie: ACR, 2000. Reproduced and mentioned: pp. 374-375, cat. 545
  • Year in Review: 1977. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (December 28, 1977-January 22, 1978).
    Animals as Romantic Icons in French Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (April 6-July 27, 1986).
    Breaking the Mold: The Legacy of the Noah L. and Muriel S. Butkin Collection of Nineteenth-Century French Art. Snite Museum, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (organizer) (September 2-December 2, 2012).
    Gifu (Japan) Museum of Fine Arts; Kamakura Museum of Modern Art, Paris autour de 1882 (1982-83), no. 22 (repr.).
    Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN (8/26/2012 - 11/15/2012): "Breaking the Mold: The Legacy of Noah L. and Muriel S. Butkin Collection of Nineteenth-Century French Art", ex. cat. no 41, p. 132-133.
  • {{cite web|title=Leaving the Oasis|url=false|author=Jean-Léon Gérôme|year=1880s|access-date=05 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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