A bright canvas with oriental coloring on the theme of female bondage and male power belongs to the Frenchman Jean-Leon Jerome – a representative of academicism with a preponderance towards the direction of “neo-Greek.” Like many works depicting silent scenes of the way of life of the Eastern people, “The sale of a slave” was the embodiment of the worship of an incomprehensible European culture and, of course, the female body.
The variety of canvases with images of nude nature was explained by the relative accessibility to the cheap models of the female sex, and also by the craving for naked sexuality, which the artists were allowed to groom in their works. Only Jerome’s nudity of women turned out to be particularly delicious and accurate.
In particular, the proposed picture does not in the least turn away the gaze, on the contrary, it attracts attention with a contrasting letter and a saturated storyline. Moreover, the exact transfer of the scene of trade and the demonstration of a beautiful slave reveals the author’s genuine talent for writing a human figure and qualitative arrangement of different characters. Now about the submission of the plot. The reaction of the buyers – men with the discarded fingers of the increase to the amount assigned for the slave is fascinating. The author gave the jubilation of the audience especially accurately, while turning his back on us.
However, the mood of the crowd is caught and the demand for the girl is obvious, both in gestures and in bodies sold to the scene. The natural perfection of the slave and her freshness are favorably emphasized by the more boring female characters behind and at the side – by young people and a doomed slave in a black robe with a child in her arms. Jerome did not begin to pour dirt and dampness into his picture.
On the contrary, the slave market is very clean and fresh, the colors are predominantly joyful and bright. The author plays virtuously with the light and shadow of the distant brick plan. His irreproachable figure is expressed by careful drawing of details, clarity of lines and simplicity of a palette.
In this case, the color of “Sales” is harmonious not only in the ratio of color spots, but also with the production and the plot itself. The color solution does not quite fit into the usual aura of the palette of spices and sand of the east, which in itself is impressive and attracts attention. The interior canvas is difficult to imagine in the walls of a simple dwelling. His theme, despite the apparent sadness, pompous in the design of the great power of patriarchy and permissiveness.