TATE BRITAIN- BRITISH ORIENTALIST PAINTING 4 JUNE - 31 AUGUST 2008
THE LURE OF THE EAST
Orientalist painting has taken something of a battering in the past three decades, due to its supposed role in creating sterotypes of Arabs through focusing on subjects such as harems, odalisques, khans, warriors on horseback, camels and slave markets. However this has not depressed prices, which have been sustained by continuing demand, especially from Middle Eastern buyers. The content of art described as Orientalist actually ranges more widely than the lurid images that are the stuff of sterotypes, and includes for example the invaluable records of artwork produced by Scottish artist David Roberts of 19th century Middle Eastern cities and landscapes.
Orientalist art is enjoying a critical reappraisal, which in London is expressed both by increased activity in the orientalist art market and by the forthcoming major exhibition at the London TATE gallery entitled "THE LURE OF THE EAST: British Orientalist Painting 1830-1925".
Arthur Melville: An Arab Interior, 1881
The exhibition opens on 4 June and run to the end of August 2008. It is organised in assosiation with the Yale Centre for British Art in the USA, which has the largest and most comphrensive collection of British art outside the UK. The exhibition first opened at the Yale Centre, in February and after its London run will travel in October to the Pera Museum, Instanbul, after which it will be transferred to the Sharjah Art Museum for the period between February and April 2009.
The exhibition is the first to survey the history of British painters' representations of the Middle East from 17th century to the early years of the 20th century. The heyday of Orientalist art was the 19th century, when steam engines were first used in travel, making it possible for artist to travel to the Middle East easily. They often reached their destination by way of Spain, Morocco, Greece and the Balkans.
There are more than 120 paintings, prints and drawings on show, lent by galleries and private collections around the worls, The exhibition features major artists such as William Holman Hunt, Lord Leighton John frederick Lewis and Richard Dadd.
Frank Dicksee, Leila 1892 John F. Lewis John F Lewis
Interior of a mosque Study for the courtyard c1864