Courtyard in the Sultan's Palace

Accession Number

Courtyard in the Sultan's Palace

Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
oil on panel

3 ft. 11 3/8 in. x 31 1/8 in. (120.33 x 79.06 cm);4 ft. 8 1/4 in. x 40 1/4 in. x 2 in. (142.88 x 102.24 x 5.08 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Henry C. Lewis

Subject matter
Constant began to do paintings with Orientalist subjects following his travels in Spain and Morocco during the 1870s. Prior to that he was well known at the Paris Salon for exhibiting history scenes. The exact meaning of this subject is unknown, however, Constant had done other paintings of street scenes and harem women, including, Harem Women in Morocco, which received a third-class medal at the Salon in 1875. This painting shows his romantic treatment of these subjects and the inclusion of local artifacts, rugs and costumes from his studio collection.

Physical Description
This painting shows a scene set in a courtyard with high white walls that is open to the sky. Beyond the wall there is flowering vegetation, tall trees and a tower with a balustrade with keyhole shaped openings. There are two clay pots resting on top of the wall and an oriental style carpet hanging over one side. Within this courtyard, there are three women who are looking at two small leopards that wear metal chains and stand in a keyhole shaped opening of the far right wall. The women, grouped together on the far left side, are wearing 19th century Moroccan dress, including richly embroidered, garments, headscarves and shoes. There is bright sunlight streaming into the room which creates shadows on the walls and floor.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Middle East
modern and contemporary art
women (female humans)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ FFW, Mezzanine ➜ M05 (Jan and David Brandon Family Bridge)