Thursday, March 19, 2015

Orientalist Art

In the 19th century, a fad for the Orient appeared. The artists were inspired by its luxury, its mystery and of course, the supernatural that surrounded this part of the world. But this new craze for Orientalism was also the reflection of several historical events such as:
-the Egyptian campaign (1798-1799)
-the Greek war for Independence (1821-1829)
-the conquest of Algiers by the French (1830)
-the opening of the Suez Canal (1869)
-the progressive dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire because of rivalries and of colonial ambitions

ALFRED DEHODENCQ
1822 - 1882
FRENCH
THE HAJJ
signed Alfred Dehodencq lower left
oil on canvas
85.5 by 120cm., 33¾ by 47¼in

CARL WERNER
1808-1894
GERMAN
THE GOLDEN GATE, JERUSALEM, THE MOUNT OF OLIVES BEYOND
signed and dated C. Werner f. 1863 lower left
watercolour, pencil and pen and ink on paper
32 by 49cm., 12½ by 19¼in.

GEORGES WASHINGTON
1827 - 1910
FRENCH
CROSSING THE FORD
signed G. Washington lower right
oil on canvas
55.5 by 81cm., 22 by 32in.

It is first through literature that depictions of the Orient appeared. Indeed, in 1704, Antoine Galland published the first French translation of The Arabian Nights. And in 1721, the Persian Letters by Montesquieu drew the public’s attention to the East. But the depictions of the Orient that we can find in literature are sometimes romanticized and convey a false image to the Westerners. More

OTTO PILNY
1866-1936
SWISS
PRAYERS AT SUNSET
signed and dated OTTO PILNY / 1906 lower right
oil on canvas
118 by 183cm., 46½ by 72in.

ALPHONS LEOPOLD MIELICH
1863-1929
AUSTRIAN
THE POTTERY SELLER
signed A. L. Mielich lower left
oil on canvas
145.5 by 195.5 cm

EDWIN LORD WEEKS
1849 - 1903
AMERICAN
A PERFUMER'S SHOP, BOMBAY
signed E.L. Weeks lower left
oil on canvas
65 by 55cm., 25½ by 21½in

Eugène Delacroix, The Death of Sardanapalus, 1844, 
oil on canvas, 73,7 x 82,4 cm, 
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Sardanapalus learned he was facing military defeat, he ordered all his possessions destroyed, including his many concubines, servants and animals, before he committed suicide. 

The Lion Hunt
Oil on canvas
Height: 76 cm (2 ft 5.91 in) 
Width: 98 cm (3 feet 2.5 in)
Date: 1861 CE
Eugène Delacroix

Cairos, quae olim Babylon Aegypti maxima vrbs
Material: Engraving, hand-colored
Size: 
Height: 33 cm (13 in)
Width: 48.5 cm (19 in)
Date: 1575 CE

The 1798 Egyptian Expedition Under the Command of Bonaparte
, Léon Cogniet, 1835. 

John Frederick LewisThe Reception, 1873

“The Slave Market” by Jean-Leon Gerome. 
The savagery of Orientals is imagined by European artists and portrayed for European audiences. What is reflected in these paintings is the White Man’s Burden: the felt need among those in the West to save Arab women from Arab men. By imitating the style of French Orientalist paintings as a vessel for his story, Thompson also transfers the message those paintings are loaded with.  More

Carl Leopold Müller (Austrian,1834 - 1892) The Almeh Admirers 1882 - See more 


Charles Wilda (Austrian, 1854-1907) Inside the souk, Cairo 1892


Oriental women by Charles Emile Vernet-Lecomte


The Favourite of the Emir by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant (Washington, National Gallery of Art)

Bonaparte visitant les pestiférés de Jaffa
Antoine-Jean Gros
Year 1804
Oil on canvas
532 cm × 720 cm (209 in × 280 in)
The painting countered a number of charges lobbed against Napoleon: “instead of a general abandoning his army in a foreign land, it represented a caring leader risking his life to raise the troops’ morale, and instead of a ruthless, self-interested executioner, it showed a compassionate, humane man with seemingly supernatural healing powers. More

The Battle of Abukir, 
by Antoine-Jean Gros 1806
Date 25 July 1799
Location Abu Qir, Egypt
Napoleon is calm in the face of danger, valiantly leading his men into battle against fatalistic Arabs (their faces drawn in scowls to further set them apart) More

Antoine-Jean Gros (1771–1835)
Battle at Nazareth
Date 1801
Oil on canvas
135 × 195 cm (53.1 × 76.8 in)
Napoleon skillfully insisted on naming the battle after the city of Nazareth (even though it actually took place in Loubia) so as to conjure images of the Holy Family and to reinforce the notion of the campaign as a latter-day crusade. More

Napoleon Haranguing the Army Before the Battle of the Pyramids, Antoine-Jean Gros. 1810, Oil on canvas. Musée National du Château, Versailles.

The Bride of Abydos or Selim and Zuleika. Painting, 1857, by Eugène Delacroix depicting a poem written by Lord Byron in 1813. One of his earlier works, The Bride of Abydos is considered to be one of his "Heroic Poems"