The Mediterranean, Egypt and the Middle East
In 1944 Topolski sailed from Britain to Egypt, later visiting the Levant — Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
Topolski’s journey to Egypt as part of a Mediterranean convoy is represented in the Century with paintings of a British sailor and a ‘lascar’, the name given to Indian or other Asian sailors employed by the Royal Navy. Egypt was the headquarters of the British Middle East Command, based in Cairo, and the main base of the British Mediterranean fleet, based in Alexandria. Topolski visited King Farouk of Egypt who is shown in the Century with his mistress Barbara Skelton, with whom Topolski also had a relationship. Topolski also includes Bedouins and camels to reflect his visits to the desert.