Encountering the West
Eastern artists combined influences and technical features of the West in their works, both in order to create images of their own culture and portray the cultural and artistic values of the East.
In the 19th century, throughout the Ottoman and Arab lands, a Western influence emerged in art as it did in many other fields. Up until this time, Eastern artists had painted mostly landscapes and architecture but now they began to depict the human figure, especially the female form. Artists from the Ottoman Empire, who were sent to Europe to study art, brought back the influences of a different lifestyle, in fashion as much as in art. The artists of the Ottoman Empire applied the techniques of European artists, largely leaving behind the traditional techniques of Ottoman and Arab art. Having been trained in the workshops of the Orientalist and Impressionist artists, thus they imposed and merged the styles and techniques of both East and West to create an approach and expression of their own, although the European influences are still visible sometimes.
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Encountering the West

Decorative arts
La Mhalla (painting)

19th century

Palais de la Rose – Musée de l’Armée, La Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia

During the 19th century, the fine and applied arts of the Muslim and Ottoman world were significantly influenced by Europe. Local artists, who were influenced both in terms of subject matter and technique, began to paint oil on canvas in a Western style. The Western influence can even be seen in the uniforms of the beylical army, known as the Mahalla, which collected taxes in Tunisia.

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In this Exhibition
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Encountering the East
Encountering the West
The concept of revivals