Rudolf Ernst began his studies in Vienna at the Academy of Fine Arts at the age of fifteen with the support of his father. He then spent some time in Rome, replicating the old masters in museums, and returned to continue his lessons in Vienna with August Eisenmenger and Anselm Feuerbach.
In 1876, he settled in Paris, and the following year, he participated in his first Salon. He later made trips to Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Turkey to study and document what he saw there for his Orientalism research.
In 1905, Rudolf Ernst moved to Fontenay-aux-Roses where he set up a shop to produce tin-glazed faience tiles with orientalist themes. He decorated his home in Turkish Ottoman style and lived a reclusive life. A dedicated Orientalist, Rudolf Ernst concentrated only on the mosque and harem interiors, as well as other scenes of everyday life in North Africa and the Middle East. He painted based on a combination of photographs, prints, as well as on his own memories and sketches of Morocco and Constantinople.
He made many trips to the Orient, where he met in 1883 the founder of the Constantinople School of Art and a former student of Jean-Léon Gérôme, Osman Hamdi Bey. He also stays in Constantinople where he has access to the Ottoman court.
Although Rudolf Ernst traveled several times to North Africa and Spain, harem scenes would have never been seen, because entry to harems was forbidden to foreigners, so it would have to be completely painted from imagination.
Rudolf Ernst belonged to the second generation of Orientalist Painters. The first generation, such as Delacroix, Vernet, Colin, and Chasseriau were inspired by political and military events such as the Liberation of Greece and Napoleon's Conquest of Algeria. Artists from the second half of the century such as Gerome, Bauernfeind, Deutsch, and Ernst were more intrigued by portraying scenes from the daily life of the Middle East and North Africa.
Art Movement: Orientalism.
Artists Influencing Rudolf Ernst: August Eisenmenger, Anselm Feuerbach.
He Traveled To Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.