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AN IMPORTANT GROUP OF ORIENTALIST PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS FROM THE MARC AND VICTORIA SURSOCK COLLECTION
"I never went about collecting in a didactic way. I was drawn by the beauty and the symbolism of a picture."
Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan interviewed by June Dukas, The Daily Telegraph, 1998, during his collection exhibition Princes,Poets,and Paladins at The British Museum
Through the Marc and Victoria Sursock collection of Orientalist paintings and drawings, one is carried from Constantinople to Egypt, visiting the shores of the Bosphorus, harem interiors, the Tombs of the Caliphs, and swept away even further to the hills of Rajasthan, the mythical palaces of Gwalior and Jodhpur, all the way to the exotic Persian horse markets of Bombay. This collection, in which topographical views, palaces and odalisques mix in an exquisite panorama of oriental luxury and refinement, is one of the most important groups of Orientalist works to come to market in recent years. Considered as an ensemble, these paintings and drawings have a unique and subtle stylistic coherence. Acquired over the years with great discernment they reflect not only the collectors' aesthetic sense, but also their own personal experience and family history at the confluence of East and West.
"These Works are part of a collection which I acquired through the years, often advised by and in presence of my adoptive father Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan to whom I dedicate these words. Prince Sadruddin loved the Orient where he felt, of course, were his roots. His world renowned Collection of Islamic Art Collection will soon be seen again in the new stunning Aga Khan Museum in Toronto due to open in 2013."
Marc Sursock, April 2012