Encountering the East
Orientalism is a European cultural and historical movement that took hold in the early 19th century and continued into the early 20th century. European interest in the Near East and North Africa and in the Arabian Peninsula and Spain as well, began in the 18th century and increased in the early 19th century. The interest was inspired by economic and geopolitical factors, by the unearthing of the ancient remains of far-off civilisations and growing knowledge about different cultures and ways of life. This appreciation (the vision of the “Other”) was disseminated to Europeans thanks to engravings, paintings and photographs. The use of new technologies such as print editions and photography were important sources of inspiration for artists and designers. In the applied arts, practitioners were inspired by Islamic and Ottoman art and the decorative schemes used in architecture, interior decoration, fashion and the applied arts. Some painters travelled to Spain, the Balkans or the Arab and Ottoman world to depict or photograph what they saw in situ; others took inspiration from illustrations and photographs.
Bashi Bazouk


Sharjah Art Museum / Sharjah Museums Authority, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (Sharjah)

Vittorio Amedeo Preziosi


Amadeo Preziosi was a Maltese (British) painter who settled in Istanbul for most of his career. His drawings and paintings of daily life in Istanbul were very well known in Europe. He, among others such as Eugène Delacroix or David Roberts, was a painter who took inspiration “in situ” and reflected, from the European point of view, the life of these far-off places. His work is characterised by detailed descriptions of attire, as is the case here.

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