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Prayer in the Mosque by Jean-Léon Gérôme
Prayer in the Mosque by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Prayer in the Mosque, 1871

Jean-Léon Gérôme

Rows of worshipers face Mecca during daily prayer in the Mosque of Amr in Cairo, Egypt. Painted archways supported by graceful columns stretch off into the distance in a hall of mirrors effect. In the foreground, a red-robed dignitary stands on an ornate prayer rug, his attendants behind him. Birds fly through the rafters, lending an element of spontaneity to this moment of ritual.

It is unlikely that Gérôme actually witnessed a service at this particular mosque. Rather the artist likely composited multiple sketches and photographs to imagine this hyperreal scene.

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