Ernest Normand (1859-1923)

Ernest Normand's Signing of the Magna Carta, once at the Royal Exchange.

Ernest Normand was a painter of classical, historical and biblical subjects, later turning largely to Orientalist pictures, most especially harem scenes, typically with more than a touch of the voyeuristic. His wife, Henrietta Rae, painted similar themes. Typical of Normand's output is An Alien (1894), showing a captive girl of north-European paleness embarrassedly standing before the stares of two arabic-looking men, the scorn of their female companion, and the impassive gaze of a slave girl. Behind, a monumental carved lion and a palm tree provide a suitable mid-East background. The same lion features in a picture of 1895, Bondage together with a whole harem, and another, quite well known harem scene is Rivals of 1897. The Normands shared a studio in Holland Park Road and were friends of G. F. Watts and Frederick Leighton.

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