Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Who Were the Orientalists?

I just fell in love. With the Orientalists. Okay, so they have all since passed into the Netherworld....but it has taken me a century or more to meet these wonderfully adventurous, daring and intrepid painters. I was introduced to their work the other night at a black tie soiree at the Saudi Arabian Embassy. No, it's not my typical evening but, then again, nothing was typical about the evening. A rich, Silicon Valley investor has amassed a tidy number of Ludwig Deutsch paintings like these. The details, including intricate lattice work and metal shields and swords, are amazing...the rich ambers and azure blues are inspiring...and the everyday scenes of 19th century Middle East life are as mysterious now as they were then.

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