Artist: Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (French, Paris 1803–1860 Fontainebleau)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 29 1/4 x 36 3/8 in. (74.3 x 92.4 cm)
Credit Line: Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887
Accession Number: 87.15.93
The present picture depicts Turkish military patrols making their rounds at Smyrna—now Izmir—which Decamps visited in 1828. It is a late variant of his first major Orientalist subject, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1831 (now in the Wallace Collection, London). Decamps belonged to the first generation of French painters to popularize scenes of everyday life set in the Middle East.
This painting belonged to the Metropolitan Museum's first president, John Taylor Johnston, until 1876, when it was purchased by Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, the Museum's first woman benefactor.