"Fantasia - Maurice Toussaint 1882-1974"Dimensions: 29 x 35
Framing: beautiful baguette with row of pearls Signed lower right
What a fabulous moment of Moroccan folklore that fantasia! When suddenly, riders dressed in a white burnous mounted on small nervous and racy beards, caparisoned of light, launch themselves at a gallop in a clatter of hooves and removed dust, until the final baroud where they unload their mukhalas by pushing cries that the youyous of women dominate…
Fantasia is a very old equestrian tradition in the Maghreb, which rests on a fundamental element, the beard, this small fast and resistant horse, which we see appearing 13th century before Jesus Christ and which are used by eastern Libyans to fire their tanks. A few millennia later, beards constitute the main resource of the Numidian stables of King Massinissa (ca 238 - 148 BC) and their renown shines throughout the Maghreb. Although widespread throughout North Africa, it is in Morocco that this tribal, rural and religious tradition continues with strength. If today, it can maintain a certain tourist folklore, the Moroccan cultural authorities, these last years, organize fantasy contests between the various localities of the Kingdom so that this exceptional heritage is maintained at its highest level.
This very rare watercolor by Maurice Toussaint shows it to us in a totally unusual register, that of "Orientalism". Indeed, this painter and illustrator, born in Fontenay-aux-Roses (Hauts-de-Seine) on September 5, 1882, is one of the most eminent specialists in military subjects and uniformology. He painted so many paintings on the theme of the Grand Army, the Army of the Second Empire and that of the Third Republic and illustrated so many works and magazines that his Fantasia offers almost a supernatural character! What was his inspiration? No one will know, but we undoubtedly recognize the mastery with which he horses, the strength of the action and the movement which gets carried away while remaining controlled.
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