Orientalism refers to the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers and artists. An "Orientalist" may be a person engaged in these activities, but it is also the traditional term for any scholar of Oriental studies. Orientalism was more widely used in art history referring mostly to the works of French artists in the 19th century, whose subject matter, color and style used elements from their travel to the Mediterranean countries of North Africa and the Near East (or western Asia).

These meanings were given a new twist by 20th century scholar Edward Said in his controversial book Orientalism, in which he uses the term to describe a Western tradition, both academic and artistic, of hostile and deprecatory views of the East, shaped by the attitudes of European imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries. When used in this sense, Orientalism implies essentializing and prejudiced outsider interpretations of Eastern cultures and peoples. Said was critical of this scholarly tradition and also of certain modern scholars, particularly Bernard Lewis.

In contrast, some modern scholars have used the term to refer to writers of the Imperialist era who had pro-Eastern attitudes, as opposed to those who saw nothing of value in non-Western cultures.

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Page 6 of 89   Paintings: 1059
A Burmese Dancer 1920 - James Raeburn Middleton - www.orientalism-in-art.org
A Burmese Dancer 1920
James Raeburn Middleton
A Persian Cafe - Edwin Lord Weeks - www.orientalism-in-art.org
A Persian Cafe
Edwin Lord Weeks
Jesus breaking bread and giving his disciples the cup - William Brassey Hole - www.orientalism-in-art.org
Jesus breaking bread and giving his disciples the cup
William Brassey Hole
The people of Capernaum bringing Jesus many to heal - William Brassey Hole - www.orientalism-in-art.org
The people of Capernaum bringing Jesus many to heal
William Brassey Hole
Eliezer and Rebekah - William Brassey Hole - www.orientalism-in-art.org
Eliezer and Rebekah
William Brassey Hole
Arabs in an Interior - Benjamin Jean Joseph Constant - www.orientalism-in-art.org
Arabs in an Interior
Benjamin Jean Joseph Constant
Jesuss teaching rejected by his own townsfolk in Nazareth - William Brassey Hole - www.orientalism-in-art.org
Jesuss teaching rejected by his own townsfolk in Nazareth
William Brassey Hole
The Prayer of the Faithful shall cure the sick - John Frederick Lewis - www.orientalism-in-art.org
The Prayer of the Faithful shall cure the sick
John Frederick Lewis
The Assyrian Rabshakeh demanding the surrender of Jerusalem - William Brassey Hole - www.orientalism-in-art.org
The Assyrian Rabshakeh demanding the surrender of Jerusalem
William Brassey Hole
The Procession Of The Sacred Bull Anubis - Frederick Arthur Bridgman - www.orientalism-in-art.org
The Procession Of The Sacred Bull Anubis
Frederick Arthur Bridgman
Women of the Harem at the Poolside - Marc-Alfred Chataud - www.orientalism-in-art.org
Women of the Harem at the Poolside
Marc-Alfred Chataud
Paul and Silas in prison - William Hatherell - www.orientalism-in-art.org
Paul and Silas in prison
William Hatherell

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Page 6 of 89   Paintings: 1059