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The Combat of the Giaour and Hassan

Two men on horseback clash in battle, another man crouches with knife.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Two men on horseback clash in battle, another man crouches with knife.




Eugène Delacroix
French, 1798-1863

About this artwork

Although Eugène Delacroix did not visit North Africa until 1832, he began painting Romantic-Orientalist canvases early on in his career. In this colorful scene inspired by a poem from Lord Byron’s Oriental Tales, the artist employed jewel-like colors to describe the shimmering, gold-braided vest and billowy clothing of the central figures. These details contrast with the violent action of the Christian giaour (a Turkish term for infidel), who avenges himself against a Muslim warrior. Delacroix’s French audience would have been receptive to his choice of exotic costuming and weaponry. Far from accurately representing the attire of the 17th-century combatants described in Byron’s poem, Delacroix drew upon styles worn by the Turko-Eygptian Mameluke warriors during Napoleon Bonaparte’s military campaign in Egypt in 1798–99.


On View, Gallery 220


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Eugène Delacroix


The Combat of the Giaour and Hassan






Oil on canvas


59.6 × 73.4 cm (23 1/2 × 28 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Bertha Palmer Thorne, Rose Movius Palmer, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Wood, and Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Palmer

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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