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The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Nicholas Tromans , Emily Weeks
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Jan 2008
With works by artists including Holman Hunt, Edward Lear, Frederic Lord Leighton and Stanley Spencer, this fascinating book demonstrates that the encounter between Britain and the Islamic world was as potent two-and-a-half centuries ago as it is today.

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The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting + Imperial Fictions: Europe's Myths of Orient
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Tate Publishing; First Edition edition (28 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854377337
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854377333
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 29.3 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Orientalism in Art 13 Jun 2012
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a review of the book that accompanied the British Orientalist Painting exhibition at the Tate in the summer of 2008. It comprises the usual set of full colour plates of the exhibition's contents plus a set of essays for a fuller consideration. It should not surprise the reader that Edward Said's seminal book lurks in every corner; indeed, reference to Said's work is made as early as the second paragraph of the foreword. Some of the essays argue subtle mutually contradictory viewpoints, which only goes to demonstrate how the debate inspired by Said shows no sign of abating.

The book's editor, Nicholas Tromans, writes in his extensive introduction that, "This book sets out to explore the history of British Orientalist imagery," making some comparisons too with the French variety. But the French modernists, eschewing the need for classical depictions, eventually turned their backs on the Orient. The British were not far behind: "After the full impact of Post-Impressionism on British art in the 1910s, the kind of picture-making with which this book is concerned comes to an end. Faith in the transparently truthful painting was no longer sustainable."

Tromans confirms that, "from the start, we already find ourselves in the hot waters of the Orientalism debate sparked by the book of that name, published in 1978 by the late Edward Said." Tromans goes on to write how "Said was primarily interested in the relationships between texts, but art historians have since sought to transpose some of his interpretations from literature to images."

Before the plates there are three essays, all of which cannot fail to ignore Said.
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5.0 out of 5 stars English eyes in the Middle East 31 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book summarises three centuries of British artists' fascination with the Middle East, particularly the Ottoman Empire. It was written to accompany an exhibition at the Tate gallery, later moved to be shown in Istanbul (which is where I saw it). It featured an astounding mix of drawings and paintings - well displayed and grouped and providing some insight into the reasons for the creative obsession with all things oriental. The book is well illustrated and gives an idea of the impact of the exhibition.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great exhibit if your near the Yale campus 3 Nov 2008
By ephyfe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought the book after seeing an orientalist painting exhibit at Yale museum of art. The book is a catalog on the exhibit. The exhibit concentrates on a genre of painting that's not often focused on in many large art museums. Paintings of western asian (Islamic) influence by some lesser known artists are featured. Some of there painting look as good as master paintings, but just don't have a master name attached. I haven't bought a book on this subject before so I don't know how these paintings compare to others of the same genre, but I can say they are of high quality. The book shows some close ups of the best paintings- intricate deatails of Islamic architecture and close up of princessess or harem girls. There was just one painting that I wish they would have made bigger in the book. Overall a nice book I'd recommend.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a decent book on orientalism but not great 15 Jan 2011
By working artist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Overall, not a bad book. However, the contribution of British artists to Orientalism does not rival thier French counter parts such as Gerome (to name but one). You will find few really remarkable or famous pieces here, perhaps one or two hidden gems. I have an extensive collection of books on Orientalism and I returned this one without much hesitation.
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't shortchange the British 12 Mar 2014
By Doug Grandpre - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It may be so that these paintings don't equal the best of the French, Gerome being the best French example. Don't be put off. British painting has consistently finished a close second. And in Art you don't have to finish first to deserve much attention. It may also be unhelpful to consistently refer to them as "Victorian" as this is often perjorative. In short, these are things we won't see in reproduction often, and they fit nicely into that group of mid-nineteenth century artists who are finally gaining re-recognition. The repro's themselves are mostly full-page sized with some details. The writing is tastful. The more I see of British painting put up directly against French, the more respect I feel for The former. If you are looking to expand your range of view of mid-century realist painting, this is a good source. The impression is that there is much unfound gold out there and you should be happy with this nugget. If it is too common for your personal standard, then pity you.
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