Portrayals of Arab guards are a staple of Orientalist painting. Kristian Davies, author of The Orientalists, wrote, “a theme grew within Orientalism of depicting guards and sentries dressed in the traditional medieval regalia of the Islamic warrior.”
Austrian painter Ludwig Deutsch (1855-1935) painted A Palace Guard in 1892.
The archetype still exists today, though modern guards lack the colorful garb. Deep in the labyrinth of the medina of Fes, Morocco, I met a man named Hassan whose job was to stand watch over the doorway of an antique store.
He patiently posed for me while I drew his features in brown and black water-soluble colored pencils. (Photo ADF)
More on Ludwig Deutsch, at Art Renewal Center, and a Ludwig Deutsch blog by Enzie Shahmiri, who has commented on this blog.