Collections | Travelling | Visiting and “revisiting” the Orient [63 Objects, 15 Monuments]

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Garden Mosque

The mosque complex comprises a cloister-like colonnade in the east (1779–84) and a main building (1782–86) flanked by two minarets (1786–95) in the west

Schwetzingen, Germany

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 Justification for this item

In Germany, Islamic-style designs borrowed from mosque architecture were used in a wide range of contexts, but none of them religious or in line with Islamic principles. This late 18th-century garden “mosque”, in the Turkish style and part of the Schwetzingen Palace complex in Germany, is the earliest of its kind in the country.

Garden Mosque

The mosque complex comprises a cloister-like colonnade in the east (1779–84) and a main building (1782–86) flanked by two minarets (1786–95) in the west

Schwetzingen, Germany

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Palace of Monserrate

1790; 1841; 1863

Park of Monserrate, Sintra, Portugal

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 Justification for this item

The Palace of Monserrate in Sintra was completed in 1863. It blends a range of European design features with those of India and the Arab world, the latter a clear reference to the legacy of Arab art and culture in Portuguese history.

Palace of Monserrate

1790; 1841; 1863

Park of Monserrate, Sintra, Portugal

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Rich drawing

c. 1800–1820

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

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Rich drawing

c. 1800–1820

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

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Rich drawing

c. 1800–1820

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

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Rich drawing

c. 1800–1820

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

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Woman in traditional dress, Jardin d'Essai

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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 Justification for this item

This photograph, showing an Algerian woman in a garden, illustrates Europe’s fascination with Arab culture.

Woman in traditional dress, Jardin d'Essai

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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Tunis au XIXe Siècle: Aquarelles et Textes de Charles Lallemand

19th century

Institut Supérieur d’Histoire Contemporaine de la Tunisie

La Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia

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Tunis au XIXe Siècle: Aquarelles et Textes de Charles Lallemand

19th century

Institut Supérieur d’Histoire Contemporaine de la Tunisie

La Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia

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Monumental Ensemble of Bussaco

19th–20th centuries

Mata Nacional do Buçaco, Portugal

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 Justification for this item

Between 1888 and 1933, the architectural assemblage at Bussaco (Baçaco) took shape. Its eclectic buildings – such as the Palace Hotel – include a wide range of Arab and Islamic details referencing Portugal’s historic encounter with the Arab world.

Monumental Ensemble of Bussaco

19th–20th centuries

Mata Nacional do Buçaco, Portugal

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The City of Algiers from the Sea

1 May 1815

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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The City of Algiers from the Sea

1 May 1815

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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North African woman washing

1832

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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 Justification for this item

The French Arabist, philologist and artist Louis-Adrien Berbrugger (1801–69) arrived in Algeria in 1835. Unusually for the time, Berbrugger settled in Algeria and married a Muslim woman, and then empathetically studied the culture around him.

North African woman washing

1832

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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Pena Palace

1838–1868

Sintra, Portugal

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 Justification for this item

Given their long shared history with the Arab world, Portugal, Spain and Italy in particular revived elements of Arab and Islamic architecture in some constructions of the 19th century. The Pena Palace in Sintra – the Royal family’s summer residence – is an eclectic and exotic building that also incorporates neo-Islamic styles.

Pena Palace

1838–1868

Sintra, Portugal

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Armenian Girl

1841

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

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Armenian Girl

1841

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

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Steam engine building

1841–1843

Potsdam, Germany

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 Justification for this item

This mosque-style building in Potsdam near Berlin was erected in the 1840s to hide a steam-pump engine that was used to pump water up to the main fountains at Sanssouci. The exterior of the building borrows “Oriental” design elements and clearly imitates Moorish architecture.

Steam engine building

1841–1843

Potsdam, Germany

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The Palace of Porto Trade Association Headquarters, the Arabian Room

1842

Porto, Portugal

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 Justification for this item

Portuguese interiors, too, could reveal a distinct “Oriental” feel in the 19th century. Most spectacular is the Arabian room at the heart of the Oporto Bourse Palace, with its neo-Moorish features inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, built between 1862 and 1880.

Study of an Arab

1840’s

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

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Study of an Arab

1840’s

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

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View of Valletta from Fort Manoel (Malta)

1843

National Gallery of Modern Art (GNAM)

Rome, Italy

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View of Valletta from Fort Manoel (Malta)

1843

National Gallery of Modern Art (GNAM)

Rome, Italy

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The Covered Walkway in the Moorish Garden (Wilhelma Park)

1844

Stuttgart, Germany

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 Justification for this item

In 1837, King Wilhelm I of Württemberg commissioned court architect Karl Ludwig von Zanth to design buildings in the Moorish style for his “Wilhelma” gardens. The aim was to create a sensual fairytale world that, not least, might help him and his guests escape the real one.

Interior of a Moorish Palace, Algiers

1844

National Museum of Romanticism

Madrid, Spain

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 Justification for this item

“Oriental” women and their lives fascinated European painters. This scene, within a Moorish palace in Algiers, seems to depict the family’s private quarters or even the harem, both areas to which most outsiders never gained access. Nevertheless, engravings like this one were often used by Orientalist artists as the basis for their paintings.

Interior of a Moorish Palace, Algiers

1844

National Museum of Romanticism

Madrid, Spain

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Mountain people from Mostaganem

1846

Musée National des Beaux-Arts

Algiers, Algeria

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 Justification for this item

Théodore Chassériau travelled widely during his stay in Algeria in 1846. After exploring the country’s western region, he completed this study of a local mountain dweller.

Mountain people from Mostaganem

1846

Musée National des Beaux-Arts

Algiers, Algeria

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Arab horseman

1846

Musée National des Beaux-Arts

Algiers, Algeria

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 Justification for this item

This preparatory study of the Bey of Constantine is by the French artist Théodore Chassériau (1819–1909). It gives the impression of being the type of preparatory sketch typically made by artists during their travels and later used as aids-mémoire for larger, more complex compositions and paintings once back home.

Arab horseman

1846

Musée National des Beaux-Arts

Algiers, Algeria

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