Orientalism is a term that is used by art historians, literary and cultural studies scholars for the imitation or depiction of aspects in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East Asian cultures (Eastern cultures) These depictions are usually done by writers, designers and artists from the West In particular, Orientalist painting, depicting more specifically “the Middle East”, was one of the many specialisms of 19th-century Academic art, and the literature of Western countries took a similar interest in Oriental themes

Since the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism in 1978, much academic discourse has begun to use the term “Orientalism” to refer to a general patronizing Western attitude towards Middle Eastern, Asian and North African societies In Said’s analysis, the West essentializes these societies as static and undeveloped—thereby fabricating a view of Oriental culture that can be studied, depicted, and reproduced Implicit in this fabrication, writes Said, is the idea that Western society is developed, rational, flexible, and superior

[pt_view id=”d2510d0yvn”]

In art history, the term Orientalism refers to the works of the Western artists who specialized in Oriental subjects, produced from their travels in Western Asia, during the 19th century In that time, artists and scholars were described as Orientalists, especially in France, where the dismissive use of the term Orientalist was made popular by the art critic Jules-Antoine Castagnary Despite such social disdain for a style of representational art, the French Society of Orientalist Painters was founded in 1893, with Jean-Léon Gérôme as the honorary president; whereas in Britain, the term Orientalist identified “an artist”

The Moresque style of Renaissance ornament is a European adaptation of the Islamic arabesque that began in the late 15th century and was to be used in some types of work, such as bookbinding, until almost the present day Early architectural use of motifs lifted from the Indian subcontinent is known as Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture One of the earliest examples is the façade of Guildhall, London (1788–1789) The style gained momentum in the west with the publication of views of India by William Hodges, and William and Thomas Daniell from about 1795 Examples of “Hindoo” architecture are Sezincote House (c 1805) in Gloucestershire, built for a nabob returned from Bengal, and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton

Authors and composers are not commonly referred to as “Orientalist” in the way that artists are, and relatively few specialized in Oriental topics or styles, or are even best known for their works including them But many major figures, from Mozart to Flaubert, have produced significant works with Oriental subjects or treatments Lord Byron with his four long “Turkish tales” in poetry, is one of the most important writers to make exotic fantasy Oriental settings a significant theme in the literature of Romanticism Verdi’s opera Aida (1871) is set in Egypt as portrayed through the content and the visual spectacle “Aida” depicts a militaristic Egypt’s tyranny over Ethiopia

An exchange of Western and Eastern ideas about spirituality developed as the West traded with and established colonies in Asia The first Western translation of a Sanskrit text appeared in 1785, marking the growing interest in Indian culture and languages Translations of the Upanishads, which Arthur Schopenhauer called “the consolation of my life”, first appeared in 1801 and 1802 Early translations also appeared in other European languages 19th-century transcendentalism was influenced by Asian spirituality, prompting Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) to pioneer the idea of spirituality as a distinct field