As art historian Linda Nochlin argued in her widely read essay, “The Imaginary Orient,” from , the task of critical art history is to assess the power structures . Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Nochlin, Linda. The politics of on nineteenth-century art and society/by Linda Nochlin. Imaginary Orient. Front Cover. Linda Nochlin Bibliographic information. QR code for The Imaginary Orient. Title, The Imaginary Orient. Author, Linda Nochlin.

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‘The Imaginary Orient’ | University of St Andrews

The politics of Orientalism. Though his text has itself received considerable criticism, the book nevertheless remains a pioneering intervention.


Henriette Browne, A Visit: Harem Interior, Constantinople, oil on canvas, private collection. Surprisingly, the invention of photography in did little to contribute to a greater authenticity of painterly and photographic representations of the “Orient” by artists, Western military officials, technocrats, and travelers.

Global imperialism and consumerism.

The ability of Europeans to purchase and own these materials, to some extent confirmed imperial influence in those areas. Like the decorative arts, they fostered krient notion of the “Orient” as an entity to be consumed through its varied pre-industrial craft traditions.

We see this continually in the architectural imitations built on the grounds of these fairs, that sought to provide both spectacle and authenticity to the fair goer. University of California Press, Roger Benjamin, Orientalist Aesthetics: An Ideologically Charged Exhibition.

imaginxry Robert Irwin, Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and its Discontents Woodstock, NY: Manchester University Press, The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting London: Islamic Art in the Nineteenth Century: