An Arab Weaver, Armand Point, 1886 - Object of the month

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

May 2017

This month's object of the month has been chosen by our volunteer Jean Lorrain-Smith.

''There are many interesting objects at Cartwright Hall, but the picture I keep returning to is An Arab Weaver by Armand Point, painted in 1886.

There is so much to see, and yet it looks so peaceful.  A man is weaving a beautiful piece of fabric in a cool but sunny courtyard, while a girl (daughter?) is spinning some yarn, and other family members are watching.  I like the contrasts: the white wall with the racks of bobbins of brightly coloured yarns; the pale clothes of the women, the rich red of the cloth, and the blue and yellow of the braid being woven to edge the cloth.  And the equipment is so simple.  It would still be familiar to crafts people today. 

I have not mentioned the arches or the upper windows, or the woman in the shadows – what is she carrying?  Perhaps I will find the answer on my next visit. There certainly will be one.

The painting was left to the museum by Jonathan Holden, whose family had mills in Bradford and an estate in Algeria.  Perhaps this picture would have reminded him of the warmth and the sun which he wouldn’t see so often in Yorkshire.''

Jean Lorrain-Smith


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