The diffusion of models and promotion of trade
Furnishing and the promotion of trade
The fashion for Orientalism inspired the production of furnishings intended for the Bourgeoisie.
Orientalism had an important influence on furnishings. The publication of the magnificent plates accompanying L’Art Arabe d’après les monuments du Kaire, by Achille-Constant Prisse d’Avennes (1869), offered its connoisseur-reader unforgettable images of the interiors of Egyptian homes. The World’s Fairs allowed the general public to enjoy “real-life” interior room-sets within the pavilions of the participating countries, which were grouped together into categories under Arab countries and the Ottoman Empire. Extravagant and lavish, the “Moorish Kiosk” with rooms that evoked tales from the Arabian Nights, was purchased and then reconstructed by Ludwig II of Bavaria in Linderhof Palace Park. On the other hand it was the middle classes that were the intended audience for items made by producers such as the cabinet-maker Joseph Parvis. Having moved to live in Egypt, Parvis adapted European forms and types of furniture and incorporated decorative details from Islamic art to appeal to the tastes of the growing middle class in Cairo where his furniture was highly fashionable. “Orientalist fever” was at the root of the highly clichéd representations of Egypt as well, which although often clearly erroneous was used for commercial purposes at various World’s Fairs.
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The diffusion of models and promotion of trade

Decorative arts and new schools of applied art
Furnishing and the promotion of trade
Egyptian Furniture of the Italian Giuseppe Parvis Living in Cairo [Paris Exhibition, 1878]


National Central Library, Rome, Italy

Giuseppe Parvis was an Italian who migrated to Egypt in 1859 and won a prize at the Paris Exhibition of 1867. A businessman who managed successfully to integrate into the Egyptian context, he sold elegant “Arab-European”-style furniture to a clientele who had never had a use for such items in the past, and introduced a fusion of the decorative, for instance mother-of-pearl inlay and metal inserts, with a quintessentially European form.

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In this Exhibition
About the Exhibition
The official showcase of the nations
Temporary structures and presentation of national contexts
The diffusion of models and promotion of trade
West and East, fine art at International Exhibitions