Orient – Images from the Eastern World to stir the travel bug
In his travel impressions from Constantinople, architect Bruno Taut once wrote: “The Orient is the true mother of Europe, and ever our dormant desires point in this direction.” Steeped in legend, the exotic East has indeed inspired numerous European artists to create pictorial and literary works of art out of a yearning wanderlust. Being one of the parts of the world established by the Romans, the term plaga orientalis is derived from the Latin term sol oriens, which means rising sun. In opposition to the term occident, which describes the Western World, the term orient applies to the Asian sphere. Later on, in German language the word was used solely for the Middle East and Arabic-Muslim cultures. In English, however, the Orient still includes regions in North Africa as well as East and Southeast Asia. After the 17th century, oriental elements and ideas increasingly influenced Western architecture, literature and fine arts. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the Eastern world from Egypt to China became a romanticised dream world and projection surface in arts. Orientalist paintings depicting imaginative harem scenes and Turkish baths shaped Western perceptions of the East as much as the Japanese style that later gained importance. Such pictures on canvas and posters provide one’s own home with the exotic appeal of the Orient. In its online-shop, Posterlounge.co.uk offers oriental images from the Middle and Far East, which might just stir the travel bug.
Geishas, Nomads, Ali Baba and the forty posters
Above all, cultural aspects of the old Arab world are considered typically oriental: architecture featuring ornate turrets and archways, the richness and extravagance of sultan’s palaces, fairy tales of Ali Baba and the forty thieves as well as Scheherazade’s stories. For this reason, Posterlounge offers images seemingly straight out of Arabian Nights. Alongside, there are art prints inspired by Indian culture, such as the outstanding oriental components of the Taj Mahal. In addition, there are imaginative and fascinating illustrations shaped after aspects of the East Asian cultures around Japan and China. Even artistic representations of Russian folk tales number among the range of posters. However, there seems to be a special appeal about the free nomadic people of the North African deserts, their appearance and lifestyle. Dressed in typical garb, only their eyes remain visible, rendering them the focus of facial expression. Often referred to as “almond eyes”, their looks seem especially intense even on paintings and drawings.
Feeling like a ramble up and down the oriental bazaar
The smell of exotic spices, the blaze of colours and the buoyant atmosphere of an oriental bazaar are palpable in respective images on canvas or poster. Art prints and poster prints inspired by the faraway cultures of the Orient, from Africa to India to the Middle East right up to Japan and China, surely stir the travel bug and a spirit of adventure. By help of pictorial interpretations of the beholder’s favourite region, he or she can experience and appreciate a tiny piece of the Orient within the cosy confines of home.