As we leave the Napoleonic Wars behind, we turn to Victorian Britain and the impact of colonization and industrialization on art. As entrepreneur Thomas Cook floods imaginations with tales of far-off lands, artists from Britain pour into the Middle East on the newly launched steam-boat. Inspired by the prospect of the Holy Land and a thrilling vibe of exoticism, the Middle East had an exponential impact on the development on European art.
Our particular focus for this talk will be on William Holman Hunt and John Frederick Lewis. Through Lewis’s sumptuous canvases and Holman Hunt’s moralizing tales, we’ll explore the term “Orientalism” and what the age of industry meant for artists who sought adventure in the 19th century.