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The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting Hardcover – 9 Apr 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (9 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300138989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300138986
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 2.2 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,189,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Nicholas Tromans is senior lecturer in art, design and architecture at Kingston University, London. Rana Kabbani is a writer and broadcaster based in Paris. Fatema Mernissi is a lecturer at the Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco, and is a research scholar at the University Institute for Scientific Research, in the same city. Christine Riding is curator of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British art, Tate Britain. Emily Weeks is an independent scholar based in the United States, and a specialist in nineteenth-century Orientalist painting.


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By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jun. 2012
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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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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