The West’s Fascination with “The Orient”

French La Chanal Persian-Inspired Turquoise Vase

The West has had a long fascination with “The Orient.” Venetians traversed the Silk Road. The Dutch traded with China. And Columbus hit the Americas while trying to get to India. In the Nineteenth Century, European Artists and Architects attempted to re-create the “Mysterious East” in a school of design now called “Orientalism.”  Whether it’s The Pavillion in Brighton, England, The Peacock Room of James McNeill Whistler, or the French La Chanal vase, above, one can see clearly an attempt by a Westerner to re-interpret something he found alluring, exotic, and beautiful.

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