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Despite his reputation for being a painter who was linked to the Düsseldorf school, Adolf Schreyer's work is not limited to the genre of still life. Many of his works depict portraits, landscapes, and other scenes associated with the modern world. However, Schreyer was also interested in the idea of representation, and his paintings often represent a more personal view of his subjects.

His early career was filled with adventures and painting experiences that were largely unimaginable to most of us. After graduating from the Stadel Academy in 1841, he travelled through eastern Europe with his friend Maximilian Karl, sixth Prince of Thurn and Taxis. He followed the Austrian army across the Wallachian frontier in 1854 and covered the Crimean War. He also travelled to Egypt, Syria, and Algeria before landing in Algiers in 1861. The experience changed his life and his style forever.

In 1861, Schreyer traveled to North Africa to observe indigenous customs and learn the Arabic language. He concentrated on the finery and rich colors of their horses and warrior costumes. His paintings of peasants are noted for their forceful statement and mastery of the medium. Some of his most famous works are found in the collection of Count Mensdorff-Pouilly. A selection of his best known works can be found in the Luxembourg Museum.

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