The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting
Edited by Nicholas Tromans (Senior Lecturer, Kingston University, London). With texts by Rana Kabbani, Fatema Mernissi, Christine Riding and Emily M. Weeks.
Throughout the world today there is a desire, made urgent by recent events, to understand the relationship between the Middle East and the Western world. This timely book is the first to explore the history of British art's engagement with the Islamic world bordering the Mediterranean. The book provides a visual feast of painting, including landscapes, interiors, street scenes and portraits. While revealing the beauty of these images, the book also investigates the ways in which this beauty formed part of the larger history of Western political and colonial involvement with the region. Themes covered include travel and the associated adoption of Oriental costume by British visitors; the artists' recreations of the harem, which they often imagined in terms of their own domestic values; and the lure of Palestine, the Holy Land, which the British felt they had a special calling to remake.
Featuring works by great British artists from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, including William Holman Hunt, John Frederick Lewis, Joshua Reynolds, David Roberts, and Stanley Spencer, this visually thrilling and intellectually challenging book immerses the reader in the shared legacy of Britain and the Islamic world.Special Exhibition Pice £19.99 until 31 August 2008.