Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903) [RA 1897-1903] : Gate of the mosque of Wazir Khan Lahore, India, 1893.


SAL record control number: 46294 ;

Archives of American Art #: ; 

Record level: Item ;

Record type: Movable work ;


Work title: Gate of the mosque of Wazir Khan Lahore, India  [from exhibition catalog] ;

Alternate work titles:
1893 : Gate of the mosque of Wazir Khan Lahore, India  [from exhibition catalog] ;

Work date: 1893  [from exhibition catalog] ;

Work creator: Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903) ;

Work medium: Oil on canvas ; 

Work dimensions: 19-1/2 x 11-3/4 inches [unframed] | 23-1/4 x 15-1/2 x 1-5/8 inches [framed] ;

Inscribed / signed front:
Location: At lower left.
Dated?: No.
Text: ‘To the Salmagundi / with compliments of E. L. Weeks’.


Marking type: Black felt tip marker writing.
Location: At lower right stretched verso.
Text: ‘07.587’.

Marking type: Black ink stamp.
Location: Top middle, bottom middle frame verso and top middle, bottom middle, side middle stretcher verso.

Marking type: White paper tag with cotton string.
Location: Tied to two screw eyes with wire.
Text: ‘07.587 / Weeks’.

SAL category: Landscape ;

SAL sub-category: Architectural ;

Archives of American Art subjects:
Architecture exterior
Architecture exterior — Religious
Art — American
Art ― Private collections ― New York (State)
Art ― Private collections ― New York (State) ― Salmagundi
Ethnic — Orientalism
Cityscape — Africa
Cityscape — Africa — Morocco

Description of work:

This oil “en grisaille” is an illustration for the Weeks’ article titled “Lahore and the Punjab”, published in the October 1894 issue of Harper’s Monthly. He became a member in 1897 and remained so until his death in 1903, all the while maintaining a studio in Paris.

Two salon size oils in color were also executed of this subject: “Steps of the Mosque Vazirkahm, Lahore” and “An Open Air Restaurant, Lahore (c. 1889).” The latter was auctioned at Christie’s in May 2004 with the following description: Edwin Lord Weeks (American, 1849-1903). An open-air restaurant, Lahore; signed and dated ‘E.L. Weeks’ (l.r.); oil on canvas. 62 x 96-1/2 in. (157.5 x 245.7 cm.). Painted c. 1889.  An Open-Air Restaurant, Lahore” is one of Edwin Lord Weeks’ most notable, widely-exhibited canvases. It is one of perhaps half a dozen monumentally-sized canvases, and was executed in the artist’s Paris studio circa 1889, about two years after his second expedition to India. The end of the 1880s was a fertile period for the artist, executing a number of his most important Indian paintings during that time. The present painting was exhibited along with “The Hour of Prayer at the Pearl Mosque, Agra” at the Paris Salon of 1889, where he was awarded a Gold Medal.

This painting depicts a restaurant stall in the marketplace situated in the open plaza in front of the Mosque of Vazir Khan in Lahore. Weeks relates his impression of the scene in his expedition narrative: “…There is, in truth, a good deal of life and movement to be seen from the crumbling steps of Vazir Kahn; there are two domed edifices… which now shelter various trades beneath the rude thatched awnings projecting from their eaves… and in the middle of the square there are open-air restaurants, where great kettles of tinned copper stand upon platforms elevated above the ground and surrounded by rough benches; sooty frying-pans sizzle on little clay furnaces, and the keepers of these restaurants sit enthroned among their cooking utensils… In the middle of the day, the benches are crowded with customers, who have the appearance of being peasants from the outlying country… A great deal of horse-shoeing and veterinary practice is carried on in one corner, under a great tree…’ (Edwin Lord Weeks, From the Black Sea Through Persia and India, New York, 1895, pp.187-180).

Weeks executed a number of paintings and studies of the front, as seen here, and courtyard of the mosque of Vazir Khan. In the present work, the beautifully painted façade occupies a prominent part in the composition. It is a testament to the artist’s great talent that the accomplished handling of figures and architecture under the blazing Indian sunlight lends the composition a palpable presence, whose unaffected capture of an observed moment belies its measured execution as a studio work.  The particular lack of contrivance of “An Open-Air Restaurant, Lahore” is the result of its direct connection to an in situ sketch. Unlike many of his other major paintings, which are built up from a series of architectural sketches combined with figure studies, the present painting was developed from an 11-1/2 x 19-1/2 inch in situ sketch featuring all of the elements contained in the final, monumental composition. Thus, the final painting takes us directly back to Weeks’ observation of an expedition scene in a complete and truthful sense; a tribute to his remarkable skill as a draftsman in the academic tradition.”  Originally situated in India, geopolitical changed now place this location in Pakistan.


ca.1897 SCNY, gift of the artist, accession #2007.587 ;
1893 Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903) [RA 1897-1903], the artist .

Exhibition history:
2021 SCNY 1880-something : Victorian art at its height August 1 – September 30.
2019 SCNY 12th Street clubhouse show.

References / citations:
– Collection database, accession #2007.587.
– 1989 collection list, accession #O-184.
Harpers Monthly, October, 1894.

– CONDITION NOTE: Appears to be relined.


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Digital-born document number: SAL.2018.46294

Digital document provenance: Original compiled and researched document by the Salmagundi, New York, NY.

Document license: Creative Commons Corporation shareAlike (sa) license. Some of the information contained within this document may hold further publication restrictions depending on final use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine.

Image license: The author of this artwork died more than 70 years ago. According to U.S. Copyright Law, copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death. In other countries, legislation may differ.

Record birth date:
August 21, 2018

Last updated: October 18, 2021 at 13:46 pm