Inspired by the East: How the Islamic world influenced Western art [Hardback]

William Greenwood(Editor); Lucien de Guise(Editor)

ISBN: 9780714111933 | Published by: British Museum | Year of Publication: 2020 | 256p, H10.6 x W9.4, 188
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Inspired by the East


The West has long had a fascination with the art and culture of the ‘Orient’. Covering a period from the late fifteenth century to the present day Inspired by the East sheds light on the complex cultural exchange between these civilizations, which has generated a profusion of beautiful objects, perhaps most famously the Orientalist paintings and decorative arts of the nineteenth century.

Published to accompany a major exhibition at the British Museum in London and the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, this richly illustrated book offers a new perspective on what the Islamic world has meant to Western artists, designers and thinkers. At the same time, instances of East looking West are explored, as artists in the Middle East and North Africa used and subverted the Orientalist gaze for their own purposes.

This fresh approach includes works of art by well-known Orientalist painters such as Eugène Delacroix, John Frederick Lewis and Ludwig Deutsch, as well as a wide range of decorative art, photography, books and ephemera. A collection of essays approaches the subject from a variety of viewpoints, investigating questions of authenticity, exoticism, intercultural connections and globalization over five centuries.

Inspired by the East is a contemporary and original examination of the artistic encounters between East and West, revealing how European and North American visual arts were inspired by the Islamic world.

Table of Contents

Introduction by William Greenwood and Lucien de Guise
The Orientalism Debate by John M. MacKenzie
The Origins of Orientalism by William Kynan-Wilson
Orientalism, Orientalist Art and the Making of Meaning by Mary Kelly
John Frederick Lewis, ‘A Memlook Bey’ by Briony Llewellyn• Islamic Influence on European Design by Catherine L. Futter
Orientalism and the History of Photography in the Middle East by Ali Behdad
New Meanings for Orientalism: A Visual Dialogue with Contemporary Artists from the Middle East and North Africa by Mary Kelly
Catalogue section, with catalogue entries
Map, Bibliography, Acknowledgements, Picture Credits,

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