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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Mariano Fortuny y Carbó
Spanish, 1838–1874

Dead Kabyle (Kabyle mort)

Etching, 1867
Winthrop H. Perry, Southport, Connecticut, 1921.2

Kabylia, the ancestral home of the Kabylian people, is a mountainous region on the coast of northern Algeria. It was annexed by France in 1857 after several years of resistance. Despite the dominance of the region by first the Romans, then the Arabs, and, finally, the French, the Kabyle, who are part of the Berber community, maintain a strong cultural heritage in part due to the difficult mountainous landscape.
Mariano Fortuny y Carbó was born in Catalonia, Spain. His father was a wood carver. Mariano began drawing as a child and entered the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Barcelona in 1853. While studying he was greatly influenced by the work of Paul Gavarni (see Gavarni’s work nearby). He was commissioned by the Provincial Council to document the Spanish-Moroccan war in 1860 and he made his first etchings in 1861. The composition of this print, showing the foreshortened body of a dead Kabyle man covered in a blanket, was perhaps influenced by an exhibition of Jean-Léon Gérôme’s painting The Death of Ceasar shown at the 1859 Paris Salon (see Gérôme’s The Smoker in this exhibition).