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Orientalism and Visual Culture
Imagining Mesopotamia in Nineteenth-Century Europe

  • Date Published: August 2003
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print November 2005
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521806572

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About the Authors
  • Orientalism and Visual Culture is the first sustained analysis of historical exoticism in the nineteenth century. Supplementing the tools of art history with aspects of postcolonial theory, the work of the Frankfurt School, and reception theory, Frederick Bohrer examines the varied reception of the art of ancient Mesopotamia at the time of their archaeological discovery in England, France and Germany. He surveys the full range of visual culture of the time, from museum display, painting and sculpture, to fairs, jewelry, and illustrated magazines, among other media. The representations of Assyria and other ancient cultures are considered in their different national contexts and in connection with differences of class and gender, as well as media of representation. This study analyzes the visual logic of Imperialism, the boundaries of aesthetic evaluation, and the mediation of imagery within the complex forces at play in nineteenth-century Europe.

    • Full range of visual culture (not just painting and sculpture)
    • Comparative study (England, France, Germany across 50 years)
    • Historical exoticism (approaches ancient culture with modern theoretical tools)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… extremely well illustrated … it contains a wealth of information that is presented in a novel, imaginative and thought-provoking manner. It will prove very rewarding for those who … use this book for seminar work with postgraduate students … it is also, of course, a most pertinent topic today when analysing Western perceptions of the geopolitical issues associated with the Middle east.' Scripture Bulletin

    'Bohrer's book is based on extensive archival research that is informed by the latest theories in the social sciences and humanities, especially post-colonial studies. It is therefore a solid, intelligent, and compelling study that is likely to become the standard in its field.' MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies

    '… The illustrations … are full of interest … in sweep of argument and unfolding of detail … this book fills a gaping hole in the literature of orientalism in English and will remain necessary reading for all who work in the field.' Burlington Magazine

    '… Bohrer's book does open up yet another new and fascinating aspect of the ever-growing subject of Orientalism.' The Art Book

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2003
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521806572
    • length: 398 pages
    • dimensions: 256 x 182 x 26 mm
    • weight: 1.05kg
    • contains: 79 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print November 2005
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: a new antiquity
    1. Exoticism as system
    2. The subjects of nineteenth-century exoticism: journeys in time and space
    3. French (dis-) connections
    4. Assyria in England: between text and object
    5. Representing Assyria in England I: devising alternatives
    6. Representing Assyria in England II: varieties of circulation
    7. Mesopotamian emulation, interpretation and imagination in late nineteenth century France
    8. Germany's Mesopotamia, 1899–1915: beyond the nineteenth century horizon.

  • Author

    Frederick N. Bohrer, Hood College, Maryland

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