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Drawn by Andreas Matthäus Wolfgang
From Costumes Algeriens
Augsburg, ca. 1710

This portrait of an Algerian Jew is one of six illustrations made by the German artist Andreas Matthäus Wolfgang (1660-1736) who was kidnapped by pirates while traveling and held captive in Algeria. Wolfgang's drawing combines the ongoing interest in foreign dress that began in the sixteenth century with the stylistic characteristics of French costume illustration as they developed in the late seventeenth century. The billowing linen sleeves ornamented with bands of embroidery are a distinctive feature of the stylish costume seen here. This type of shirt continued to be worn into the nineteenth century; it is mentioned by travelers to Algeria in the 1830s and depicted by Delacroix as part of a woman's attire in his engraving Juive d'Alger from 1833.

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