Boukerche: Crossroads, Algeria 1938 North African Orientalist Oil

Boukerche: Crossroads, Algeria 1938 North African Orientalist Oil

Code: 10193


H: 39.5cm (15.6")W: 47.4cm (18.7")D: 3cm (1.2")


A rare and unusual oil on canvas by the important North African painter Miloud Boukerche, one of the precursors of Algerian easel painting.

Born in Sidi-Bel-Abbs in 1908, Boukerche started his career as a draughtsman in a textile workshop. He came to France to attend a sporting competition, and it was during that stay that his artistic talents were noted and that the young man was encouraged to enrol in art school, it is said. Boukerche worked in Paris in film advertising in the 1930s before returning to Algeria, where, influenced by Delacroix and Etienne Dinet, his art became orientalist.

After his first exhibition at the Franco-Islamic Cercle in Algiers in 1947, Boukerche would focus on portraiture, painting notably a portrait of King Mohamed V of Morocco.

He exhibited at the Paris Salon from the 1930s onwards, spending time both in Algeria and France.

The painting presented here is a fascinating early work, which depicts the artist's native Algeria with tenderness, but without romanticism. Keenly observed and fresh, it is likely to have been painted shortly after the artist's return from Paris. It is signed and dated 1938 at the lower right. Measuring 33.5 x 41 cm, the overall framed size is 39.5 x 47.5 cm.