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José Jiménez Aranda - Slave for Sale [c.1892] - Prado Madrid.
[Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid - Oil on canvas, 100 x 82 cm]
A slave girl, sitting on a carpet in an oriental market modestly bends his head to hide her shame. Around her neck is a sign written in Greek which reads “Rose of 18 years for sale for 800 coins.”
Around her are the faceless figures of potential buyers. The picture is one of the most striking Spanish painting of the nineteenth century.
The artist played with the sensual softness of the girl’s naked body in contrast to the colourful vibrancy the carpet.
The modernity of the way the subject is framed, with the suggestion of a ring of men lustfully contemplating the slave, is one of the most striking aspects of the work.