Legge, Arthur J. (1859-1942)
The watercolour is a rare view of the fruit bazaar near the Latin Cathedral of St Sophia (Selimiye mosque) in Nicosia. Once a week, on Fridays, traders came from all parts of the island to lay out their produce. Permanently covered spaces were provided by the municipality in which small individual stores were laid out. The picture vibrates with life and colour. Among piles of lemons and oranges, Turkish Cypriots, in exotic and colourful array, and Turkish women in long striped robes jostle and crowd the picture. Men of all ages with fez and turbans, high boots and baggy trousers stand around talking. This is a mixed crowd of Greeks and Turks. On the right side of the picture there is motion, there is business and socialising while on the left is another way of life, leisured, pensive, rahat or simply doing nothing. A man sits on his chair with his legs outstretched, supporting his head with his arm, in deep thought, oblivious to what is happening around him. Two aspects of life in Cyprus are illustrated here, the instinct for commerce and the contemplative mood. In the background, stands the mosque with its minaret dispelling any doubt as to the location. The scene would have delighted the British public: It portrayed the exoticism of the colony and allowed a glimpse into a different culture, the benefits of a warmer climate, the abundance of fresh fruit and the easy life.
23 x 30 cm
Signed: Arthur Legge
Group Portraits, Bazaars (Markets), Dealers (Retail Trade), Street Vendors, Clothing And Dress, Traditional Costumes, Architecture, Islamic Architecture, Mosques, Religious Institutions--Buildings, Fruits
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