'Berber Woman' ('Portrait d'une Kabyle')

She's a French Orientalist painting from 1870, by Émile Vernet-Lecomte. She is sometimes described as "Dihya Berber Queen of the Aurès" or Al-Kahina, and the painter may have had her in mind, referring to a Berber queen who led resistance to the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb around 700 AD, in the area then known as Numidia (now northern Algeria). She remains to this day a symbol of strong women opposing male-dominated foreign occupation.


For another Vernet-Lecomte painting from the same time: Young Amazigh woman, Algeria (1869).

Private collection

For an earlier Orientalist Delacroix - here. In later decades, many more European and American painters toured the Ottoman Empire and the Maghreb, their painting style being in direct opposition to Impressionism and their political loyalties conflicted. One of them, Etienne Dinet, learned Arabic and converted to Islam. This is his: Raoucha (1901):

National Museum of Fine Arts in Algiers

The painting below, Veiled Circassian Lady (1876) is by the most well known (and prolific) Orientalist painter of the era, Jean-Léon Gérôme.

Private collection