THE GREAT MOSQUE OF ALGIERS, DJAMA'A AL-KEBIR
Signed & inscribed l.l. Gab Carelli / Alger
Watercolour with pen & ink
27 x 25 cm
Carelli painted several intricate views of Algiers on at least one visit to the city, including one now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (WA1947.227.16) and a view of the Dar Mustapha Pacha (presently with Chris Beetles Gallery, London). Carelli spent much time in Northern Africa on sketching trips, travelling through Cairo, Assiout, Luxor, Algiers, Tunis, Marrakesh, around Morocco and Tangiers. It is likely that the present work can be dated to 1883, the same year as a group of views of Algiers by Carelli that appeared at auction in Nevada in 2015. See the third image for a photograph of a similar view from 1898.
Gabriele Carelli was one of a family of watercolourists: his father Rafaelle had been patronised by the Duke of Devonshire in the 1830's, on his Grand Tour; his brother Consalvo painted numerous scenes of Naples and the surrounding countryside; and Gabrielle's son Conrad became a watercolourist, working around provincial England and the continent. Gabrielle was himself introduced to and patronised by the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth in the 1840's. Carelli also numbered among his patrons the Emperor of Russia, the first Duke of Westminster and additional members of the English aristocracy.
Carelli travelled extensively and painted views of France, Italy, North Africa and the Near East. Late in life, Carelli found favour with Queen Victoria, through Lady Waterpark, who commissioned him to record the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore House (the present seat of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) between 1880-1883. The Royal Collections hold a large number of his works at Osborne House and Windsor.
Francis, Lord Napier - Notes on Modern Painting at Naples - J.W. Parker, London, 1855 - pp.121-125
E. M. Eleuteri, I Carelli una generazione di pittori, Roma 1980
C. Juler, Les Orientalistes De l'Ecole Italienne, 1994, pp.46-48