Fabio Fabbi (18 July 1861, Bologna – 24 September 1946, Casalecchio di Reno) was an Italian Orientalist painter and illustrator. He studied painting and sculpture with Augusto Rivalta, at the Academy of Fine Arts, Florence, where he would become a Professor in 1893.
Fabio Fabbi painted images of odalisques and bazaars which were well-received by the public. His images were commercial for his day, and thus he succeeded in painting more works than many of his contemporaries in Italy. From 1884 onward, Fabbi participated in exhibitions in Turin, Milan, and Florence, gaining popularity and praise because his works were both colorful and amusing. Although the subject-matter was not novel to his audience at this point, his Impressionist techniques combined with Orientalism and the movement of his figures were quite appealing.
The present scene depicts one of Fabio Fabbi’s favorite themes, Raks Baladi, the popular folk dance of Egypt believed to have the blueprint for all Oriental dances. During his trip to Egypt in 1886, Fabbi would have seen the skillful women dancing the Raks Baladi as it was enjoyed at festivals, in the home, and the living quarters for casual entertainment.