Imperialism, The Middle East, And East Asia

990 Words Apr 13th, 2016 4 Pages
Large busy markets, snake charmers, carpet vendors, and veiled women all invoke ideas of West Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia, but all these ideas come from Oriental fantasies from the nineteenth century. Edward Said the author of Orientalism said that “Orientalism was ultimately a political vision of reality whose structure promoted the difference between the familiar (Europe, West, "us") and the strange (the Orient, the East, "them").” The nineteenth century was a period of imperialism and tourism that led many western artists to visit West Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Orientalist paintings depicted two major effects, many artists often portrayed something “exotic,” which was racialized, feminized, and from a sexualized culture from a faraway land. Another effect that artists mainly like Jean-Léon Gérôme often showed was an authentic glimpse of a location and its inhabitants. Nochlin mentioned that many of Gérôme’s paintings worked to persuade their audiences by carefully representing a "preexisting Oriental reality.” Imperialism is a policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world. French orientalist paintings in the nineteenth century were intended as propaganda in support of French imperialism, portraying the East as a place of backwardness, lawlessness, and savagery enlightened and disciplined by French rule. The emphasis on military brutality in numerous Oriental subjects by…
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