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[A Moorish Woman with Her Maid]
Félix Jacques Moulin (French, 1802 - after 1869, active Paris, France 1840s - 1850s)
Albumen silver print
18.1 x 22.8 cm (7 1/8 x 9 in.)
A Moorish woman reclines on a sofa stacked with pillows; disaffected, she looks away from the camera. Her skirts are pulled up to reveal bare thighs, and her right hand rests suggestively and deliberately between her legs. Her left arm is bare and raised: in her languor and dishevelment, she displays a sexual availability ordinarily reserved for private eyes.
A black woman sits at the end of the sofa, looking bored and distrustful while cradling her mistress's bracelet-topped feet in one hand and resting the other on her calf. The
A convention of Orientalist imagery, the subject of the sexually available female attended by a black maid subscribed to a stereotyped fantasy of non-European women. Jacques Antoine Moulin made this image during a trip to Algeria; nine years later, he included it in an album that he compiled to commemorate
Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
- Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA, (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995
Roger Fenton: The Orientalist Suite (July 16, 1996 to October 6, 1996)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 16 to October 6, 1996