|"Girls Dancing and Singing" by Etienne Dinet (1902). Dinet lived amongst the Ouled Nail tribe to fully understand and capture his hosts honestly. He even converted to Islam.|
Dear Orientalists (Or: Chers Orientalistes, since I know much of you lot are French),
You make my head hurt.
On one hand, you've done a wonderful thing for the art world and 18th/19th century Western culture, by being some of the first to really portray Eastern cultures (predominately Middle-Eastern and North African) in a positive manner. Many of you didn't seek to look down your noses at these worthy and fascinating peoples, but instead to capture the color and vitality of their daily lives. Some of you were shot at by locals incensed at the idea of human visages being represented in art- a taboo in Muslim cultures. Many of you switched media to photography and watercolors, just so you could paint it accurately and in the moment.
|A Bashti-Bazouk, by Jean-Leon Jerome (1869)|
|"Orientalist Interior" by Theodore Chasseriau (1852)|
|Beautiful Fatima, a staged photograph of an Algerian woman|
|Staged photograph of a Tunisian woman. At least they didn't balk at her eyebrow harquus.|
Will post on North Africa soon now that I'm done ranting,
P.S. Harems are not brothels.
|Renoir's Odalisque (1870). Inaccuracy and sexism aside, those clothes are pretty fantastic|