Object Image

Early Morning in the Wilderness of Shur

The picture is based on the material Goodall brought back from his trip to Egypt in 1858. It was his first Egyptian subject, and was originally entitled An Arabian Encampment at the Wells of Moses. The site is on the Red Sea, looking north, with the mountains of the Djebel Attaka in the background.

Goodall’s fidelity to detail made the picture hugely successful on its exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1860. It was praised at the time as both a faithful representation of nomadic life and as a Biblical illustration. European artists were travelling farther and wider than ever before in this period, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, though they sought to render accurately what they saw of other cultures, by today's standards their images may seem overly romanticised.

Oil on canvas
305.0 x 107.0cm
Images and text © Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, 2017

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