22 x 18", oil on paper, lacquered to masonite.
The painting appears to be depicting 2 women and a man using opium or laudanum. It could be English in origin (given the placement of Caucasian women in a cave with perhaps an Ottoman man) and date from the early 20th century (given the use of masonite developed in the 1890s), placing it as a cautionary image to deter the use of opiates especially among women. Because of the partial nudity in the image, it is not likely that it was used as an illustration in the latter 20th century. According to the MET: "The fantasy of sexual availability is a recurrent theme of Orientalist painting." The scene depicted bears some resemblance to Benjamin-Constant's (Jean-Joseph-Benjamin Constant) Odalisque.
Marjorie Echols Collection, MS035
Unkown, . “[Opium Den?].” Marjorie Echols Local Artists Collection, MS035. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 21 Sep. 2019.
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