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Orientalist Drawings

Orientalist drawings provide a fascinating look into a particular time in world history, documenting the introduction of foreign cultures to the Western world during the 19th century. These works include illustrations of wild animals, battle scenes, and figurative works that convey a worldview imbued with naiveté and wonder for the people, flora, and fauna of distant lands that were in the midst of being "discovered" through the forces of Imperial expansion and colonization.

Before the advent of the camera, the vast majority of French and British citizens had never seen and could never imagine what a bazaar, an indigenous island tribesman, or a camel looked like. While drawings from this period reflect aspects of cultural ignorance, they also reflect the wonder of a world filled with... Read more

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