Edwin Lord Weeks American, 1849-1903


Edwin Lord Weeks was one of the most prominent American Orientalist painters of his time. Weeks undertook extensive periodic journeys throughout North Africa, Persia and India in order to document the subject matter, architectural details, and backgrounds for his compositions. According to his personal letters Weeks traveled to India in 1883 where he painted scenes from Mathura, Benaras, Agra, Delhi, Amritsar, Bombay, and as in our example in Ahmedabad. It was these paintings of Indian subjects that established Weeks' reputation as a Salon medalist.  Such sensitive renderings of Indian life brought him certain celebrity in France and in the United States. This exotic view demonstrates a distinct mastery of artistic details, local architectural elements, and the human figure.


Edwin Lord Weeks was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1849, the son of well-to-do tea and spice merchants in Newton, Massachusetts. The younger Weeks was thus in a position to indulge his personal love for travel and for artistic pursuits. He traveled to the Florida Keys with the express purpose of drawing and then journeyed further on to South America. His earliest works date from 1867. In 1870 he opened a studio in his hometown of Newton and in the same year made his first trip to Egypt, to the Holy Land, and then to Damascus, Syria. He ventured on to Morocco in North Africa before returning home where he exhibited his paintings at the Boston Art Club. In 1874 he returned to Paris where he studied under Léon Bonnat at the École des Beaux-Arts and was acquainted with the great Academic painter Jean-Léon Gérôme. The artist traveled extensively throughout Northern Africa and the Near East, chronicling his journeys in letters and in drawings. His paintings of India, Morocco, and Persia brought him great renown and celebrity back in France and in the Americas. He continued to paint right up to his untimely death in 1903 from an illness that he contracted in India.


Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France, 1896

Officer of the Order of St. Michael of Bavaria


Salmagundi Club, 1897

Secession, Munich

Paris Society of Painters and Sculptors

Boston Art Club


Boston Art Club, 1874

Noyes and Blakeslee Gallery, Boston, 1877

Paris Salon, 1880, 1884 (prize), 1889 (medal)

Paris Exposition, 1889 (gold)

Philadelphia Art Club, 1891 (gold)

Berlin International Exposition, 1891 (prize)

London Exposition, 1896 (medal)

Dresden, 1897 (medal)

Munich, 1897 (medal)

Pan American Exposition, Paris, Buffalo, 1891

Museums and Public Collections

Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, Florida

Art Institute of Chicago

Brooklyn Museum

Dallas Museum of Art, Texas

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Museé d’Orsay, Paris

Newton History Museum, Massachusetts

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia

Portland Museum of Art, Maine

San Diego Museum of Art, California

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Walters Art Museum, Maryland

Request information

Please notify me when works by Edwin Lord Weeks become available.