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DARB EL ZEAB IN THE COPTIC QUARTER, CAIRO, BY THE BRITISH PAINTER JOHN VARLEY, JUNIOR

July 28, 2012

The Darb el Zeab in the Koptic quarter, Cairo, painting by John Varley Jnr (1880).

John Varley Jnr. (1850-1933) was a British painter. Not much I could get about him. He clearly was in Egypt for some time. In 1880, he executed an oil painting for Arthur Russell Esq, of Cupar, Fifeshire, who appears to have been a British MP, depicting a narrow lane in the Coptic Quarter in Azbakiyya, Cairo, called Darb el Zeab درب الذئاب (Lane of the Wolves). John Varley, Jnr., titles his painting “The Darb el Zeab/in the Koptic quarter/Cairo”. The auctioneers, however, have market it under the title “The Coptic quarter, Cairo”.

The painting is oil on canvas, and is 50.5 x 38cm in dimension. It is signed, inscribed and dated ‘The Darb el Zeab/in the Koptic quarter/Cairo. 1880/John Varley/Painted for/Arthur Russell Esq/Cupar/Fife’ (verso). It was put at auction in London 2011, and sold for £2,250 inc. premium. The identity of the purchaser has not been revealed.

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