Paul Joanovits (1859-1957)
Oil on Canvas
Inscribed on the reverse
Born in Vrsac of Serbian parentage, Paul Joanovitch studied under Leopold Karl Muller, the Director of the Vienna Academy, himself an Orientalist painter. He made his debut in 1882 with a painting entitled Wounded which earned him a Hungarian State grant after its exhibition in Budapest. In the mid 1880s Joanovitch spent some years in Munich, during which time, from around the middle of the decade, he began to focus almost exclusively on Orientalist subjects.
The Escape illustrates Paul Joanovitch’s power of emotion and drama combined with his artistic talent for portraits and genre subjects.
The young warrior, possibly a mamaluke watches fearfully as his city is burning in the distance. It has been attacked and conquered; he has escaped to the higher ground in order to survey any of the enemy following him. He has draped his cloak over the base of the tree trunk in order to make himself as comfortable as possible, his flint-locked pistol at the ready in case of attack. The look of fear and sadness of the day’s event captured by Paul Joanovitch’s painting is very interesting. The broken sword stained with blood in the fore ground adds drama to the painting and illustrate the power of Joanovitch observation of details. His realism and mannerist technique is so strong that seems that the young warrior is almost stepping out of the painting.
Clearly the statement of the figure invokes many thoughts as well as the background of the location on this painting.