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A Frankish Woman and Her Servant

Jean-Étienne Liotard1750

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Jean-Etienne Liotard, who traveled extensively, became infatuated with all things Turkish during a four-year stay in Constantinople (1738-42). There he made numerous pastel and oil studies of Turkish and British notables, as well as street persons and acquaintances dressed in the striking patterns, colors and textures of native Turkish costume. Here, a woman Liotard described as "Frankish"—of European ancestry, but from the eastern Mediterranean—holds a long chibouk (smoking pipe) in her henna-dyed fingertips. Her feet are protected from the wet floors of this Turkish public bathhouse by platform shoes. A young companion carries a bath bowl equipped with a comb, lidded container for soap and lathering mitts that will be used, perhaps, at the marble sink behind them.

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