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Since the early 1800s, a particular art form has emerged in Western Europe: Orientalist paintings. Artists, captivated by the East and its complex cultures, created works that allowed Europeans to virtually travel to distant lands.
Orientalist paintings are aged images that depict the Arab and Muslim world from a Euro-centric view. This style of painting is often associated with prejudice and cultural stereotypes, making it a contested art form for modern artists. Orientalist paintings are widely available in art galleries and collectors have long appreciated their wide variety of subjects, including biblical, historical, mythological and romantic scenes. Their colors are vibrant and they usually show "exotic" scenes such as Arab or Muslim daily life, as well as spectacular Middle Eastern landscapes. In addition, it is important to note that this art form was created by European artists who had never visited the Middle East or experienced the culture firsthand. The paintings are therefore based on old European cultural stereotypes and can be considered offensive to the people involved. Orientalist paintings are therefore a symbol of a time when differences between cultures were still strongly emphasized. This type of art does not take into account the complicated history of the Arab-Muslim world nor its internal complexity and should be viewed with caution by those seeking to learn about this rich culture. Today, it is time for modern artists to rethink the way we represent the Arab and Muslim world to fit contemporary realities rather than the outdated view that Orientalist paintings offer. If you are interested in Orientalist paintings or would like to discover this unique style of painting, there are many collections available in Bozaart. So explore this fascinating art style and discover how it brings cultures from around the world together through the beauty it brings to the world!