Frederick Goodall, despite the British origin, especially gravitated towards the East. Exotic themes pursued the artist’s work, serving as an impetus to unite about 170 paintings in a series of “Egyptian” paintings. The work presented on the page was written in 1884.
By that time, Goodall had already visited Egypt twice, saturated with the oriental atmosphere. The plot of the work “New World in a harem” can be considered allegorical. What did the author show here? This is the birth of a new life – heir to the master, as a rainbow of light and the continuation of all beginnings, the grain sown by mankind. Goodall beat the personification of the “light of life” everyday scene from the everyday life of Eastern women.
To “humanize” deeply the meaning of the work, the artist turned to the simple game of the maid with the baby and the dialogue of two women – one of the gentleman’s wives and a black maid. To the pastime of women from different layers of society Frederic Goodall added a good mood, a calm course of the day and light from the windows, transmitted in light tones, – such a joyful day mixed with the happiness of motherhood. A white woman entrusted her child with a mulatto. This can be regarded as a sign of the long-standing friendship of such unlike “prisoner”.
The presence in the room of a gazelle – a tiny cowardly creature that is not afraid of a person and also waiting for attention and warmth – seems to be symbolic. Interest deserves the decoration of the room. It, not having special frills, is distinguished by the quality of the mosaic on the floor and the textile draperies. Cleanliness of the room is simply dazzling, so the child is so comfortable on soft carpets, warm and cozy. At the wall in the background is a hookah. The lower part of the same wall is decorated with an ornament from damask – traditional oriental stylized flowers.
No less interesting are the wooden partitions on the windows. The artist prescribed them with special zeal, paying attention to the fine drawing of the wooden carvings. Fabrics in the room have different texture and density, which is conveyed by the author’s remarkable letter and color of colors. This is chiffon on the window, and handmade carpet on the floor, and satin cushions on the couch, and its upholstery. The layout of the canvas is unobtrusive, and the small details are minimal, which leaves an impression of the cleanliness of the owners and the culture of everyday life. Goodall used a warm color characteristic of his work. It is a mixture of natural shades with artificially created: cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, pomegranate and azure cushion stain.