In the Dark Continent

Present Whereabouts Unknown

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN, New York, 1889, No. 105 ($900.00).

Maria Naylor (Ed.), National Academy of Design Exhibition Record 1861-1900, Kennedy Galleries, New York, 1973, 2 Vols, Vol. II, p. 669.

Category: Tag:

This subject picture must have been a scene in Africa.  In a photograph of the artist’s waiting room in the Sherwood Building, New York taken in 1894 there exists, hanging by the door, what appears to be a canvas of an African woman which may have been a sketch for this missing work.  It should be noted that it was in 1889 that Muller-Ury signed and dated the ‘Portrait of a North African Man with Gun’, now in a British Private Collection, and a hypothesis may be proposed that whilst his portrait of President Louis Ruchonnet of Switzerland was on display at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in that year, he took the opportunity to test his skill at the depiction of both an Arab and Africans, who were presumably then present in Paris.  Muller-Ury might even have visited North Africa from France during the summer, possibly to Morocco or Tunisia to paint, but there is no evidence in his papers or in the cuttings of any such visit.  It is interesting to note that this picture was for sale, for Muller-Ury was had not yet been brought to the attention of the Four Hundred by his 1890 portrait of Senator Chauncey M. Depew.