Oriental Art

what is oriental art?

What is Orientalism, and what are the deeper meanings underneath this term? Where and how exactly did the term Orientalism originate? We will utilize the terms “East” and “Oriental” to refer to specific places like the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.


“Orient” plainly refers to the geographical Eastern parts of the world, namely, the Middle East, which comprises the Arab world with countries like Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and the Asian continent.

appropriating the east

An important figure in Oriental discourse, or really discourses that touch on the concept of the “Other” was the Palestinian-American Edward Saïd.

depicting a european concept

Orientalism art is a European concept, as we know, and it was popularized during the 19th century by various Oriental artists, as they were called.

meanwhile, in europe

France, specifically Paris, during the 19th century had prominent art movements like Academic art, which was a component of the French Academy.

famous oriental paintings

Napoleon in the Plague House at Jaffa (1804) Antoine Jean Gros

La Grande Odalisque  (1814) Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Women of Algiers in Their Apartment (1834) Eugène Delacroix

The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple (1860) William Holman Hunt

The Snake Charmer  (c. 1879) Jean-Léon Gérôme

coming to an end?

Although Orientalism in art was seen as early as the Renaissance era, it grew and gained significance during the 19th century. During the later years of the 19th century, other prominent art movements gained traction and Orientalism phased out.