This artwork is by Prosper Marilhat (that’s a wonderful first name incidentally) who lived between 1811 and 1847, painting this in the late 1830s following a visit to Egypt. The gallery doesn’t know when it was acquired, but perhaps the saddest part of this story is that the artist went insane and died in a lunatic asylum in Paris aged only 36.
The gallery has kindly placed much better copies of the images on their web-site (copyright Wallace Collection) and they’ve done wonders here to bring out the colours on the artwork. Beni Suef is located around 70 miles south of Cairo, a city once made wealthy through its manufacture of linen. But, back to the artwork, it is one of those evocative paintings of a time gone by…..