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The Oriental Obsession
Islamic Inspiration in British and American Art and Architecture 1500–1920

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Art

  • Date Published: November 1991
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521407250

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  • The Oriental Obsession begins in the early sixteenth century with Cardinal Wolsey waiting two years for the delivery of sixty rare Turkey carpets from Venice, and ends in the age of the great exhibitions and emporia on both sides of the Atlantic, before and after 1900, when Islamic objects were seen, appreciated, and bought by millions of the public. The book is concerned with a subject which has not been treated before - the history over four centuries of Islamic artistic traditions and European ideas of Islam as they affected the visual arts of the west and particularly the English-speaking peoples. Studies of individual aspects have been made previously, but this is the first time that an attempt has been made to consider the subject as a whole. The geographical purview extends from Moorish Spain in the west to British India in the east and, besides architecture, the activities that are involved include painting, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, furniture and bookcrafts.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A serious, full-length study of the impact of the Islamic world on the visual arts of the English-speaking nations has long been overdue. Here it is at last. Dr Sweetman is a born writer. His text is full of unexpected felicities and he writes with such consistent polish, grace and insight that one's attention never flags … marvellous synoptic achievement.' Oriental Art

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1991
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521407250
    • length: 348 pages
    • dimensions: 276 x 220 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.811kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Preface
    Introduction
    1. 1500 to 1660: the growing impetus
    2. 1660 to 1750: the connoisseurs of spectacle
    3. 1750 to 1820: models east of Rome
    4. After 1820: the painters' vision
    5. After 1850: the design reformers
    6. The American story
    Conclusion
    Appendices
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    John Sweetman

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