Highet, Juliet
April 2004
Middle East;Apr2004, Issue 344, p56
In February 1990 an Orientalist painting by Jean-Lé on Gé rôme depicting Bathsheba, the beautiful wife of Uriah the Hittite, fetched $2 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York. In 1999, again in New York, this time at Christie's, Gé rôme's "View of the Wailing Wall," reached $2,312,500. This world record price was achieved for a type of art of which is so little known and appreciated that its very name, Orientalism, is confused with Oriental art. The term "Orientalist Art" originates from the art exhibition "Salon des Orientalistes" held in Paris in 1899, exhibiting work by western, primarily European artists of their fantasies of Arabia; paintings of the Middle East and North Africa, more or less exotic, more or less accurate.


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