Word Orientalism derives from the Latin “Oriens” which means east.
The Orientalist painters were a group of nineteenth century artists
from Britain, France, Italy Germany and Spain who were fascinated by
the Middle East and travelled there to paint local, archaeological
and biblical scenes. They provided a marvellous record of a wide
range of interesting subjects, including buildings with their
splendid lattice (Meshrabia) windows. The desert with its fierce
harsh terrain of Bedouin was another source of fascination for the
west as well as the beautiful costumes of rich colours which
enhanced the paintings and provided endless resource for the painter
of that time.
The Tareq Rajab Museum has a
large collection of Orientalist paintings, the most popular being
the painting of Lady Jane Digby and the portrait of Sheikh Medjuel
el Mesrab by the famous German Painter Carl Haag.
Carl Haag, (1820 – 1915) born
in Germany and studied art in Nuremburg. In 1847 he moved and went
to live in England where he continued in his studies, that being the
English techniques of water colour painting. Haag was elected to
full Royal Academician in 1853.
popular Orientalist was David Roberts (1796 – 1864) born in
Stockbridge on the edge of Edinburgh Scotland. David Robert came
from a very humble family who barely had money to be able to send
Roberts to School. David Roberts was mostly self taught who from an
early age drew wonderful architectural features.
His main ambition was to travel to the east and from sales of his
works was able to do so in 1838.
Two Hundred and fifty
lithographs were produced from his travels that took him to Egypt,
Nubia and the Holy Land. The Museum holds the full six volumes of
subscription edition of the Lithographs. A book on the Subject is
also for sale in the book section.
David Roberts lithograph titled “The Doorway”
which is the entrance of the Temple of Bacchus in Baalbec was
produced in oils and earned Roberts the full Royal Academician in