This picture really made me laugh (in a quiet, museum-like manner, obviously!) when I came across it at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin this week!
Osman Hamdi Bey depicts so well the moment two cultures collide. The sheer foreign-ness of the other party leads to not curiosity and communication, but to this “freeze frame” moment of watching the others as if on television.
Brilliantly captured! I wonder what happens next? Will the little girl break the ice? Will one of them pluck up the courage and start to interact? Or will the wall remain, with maybe a carpet sold but the two worlds never really meeting?
I would love to know what the servant on the left is thinking. At least I assume he is a local man, who is a servant to the foreign family. He could maybe help bridge the gap, but his role probably makes that impossible.
So many ways this could go!