More Orientalisme by Gérôme

A Tryst, 1840 (wikiart.org) A Tryst,1844 (wikiart.org)

Jean-Léon Gérôme’s Orientalism

My post on Jean-Léon Gérôme’s Orientalism, Orientalisme: Mostly Gérôme, features several baschi-bazouk. This happened inadvertently.I wanted to show the whippet dogs and the character named Arnaut. I also wanted to show a hookah, a smoking and vaporizing instrument used in the various countries of the Ottoman Empire, as well as Pakistan and India. These were popular items in the 1960s and early 1970s, when smoking cannabis became fashionable.

Gérôme’s artwork also refers to pashas (see France in North Africa), persons who occupied a high rank in the Ottoman army and/or its government. Some Europeans became honorary pashas whose title could be compared to that of an Earl in Britain. (See Pasha, Wikipedia.) Other familiar scenes are mosques and harems. Gérôme also recorded the sale of white women. In the case of traite des blanches FR, the trading of white women, Gérôme goes back to the Roman Empire in his role as history painter. (See History Painting, Wikipedia.) Christians were sold as slaves, or captured, and among captives, there were white woman. Gérôme’s paintings of harems, or bathing women, show several white women.

I will therefore feature a few paintings that are not portraits of bashi-bazouk, the very cruel irregular soldiers of the Ottoman Empire.

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The Slave Market in Rome by Gérôme, 1884 (wikiart.org)

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The Muezzin by Gérome, 1865, (Joslyn Art Museum)

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Prayer in Cairo by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1865 (MMA, NY)

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Harem Women Feeding Pigeons in a Courtyard by Gérôme, no date (wikiart.org)

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Napoléon in Egypt by Gérôme, c. 1863 (Princeton University Art Museum)

Comments

Gérôme was a very prolific artist whose art was at times extremely engaging, which is how it would appealed to Théophile Gautier. I have a favourite Gérôme, The Duel After the Masquerade, of which there are two copies. La Sortie du bal masqué cannot be classified as Orientalismbut it speaks to me, it is evocative.

When Americans went to Paris and bought works of art, art such as Gérôme’s was not bought frequently. It was academic art. Americans bought the works of innovators whose art was rejected at Paris Salon. The art of innovators was exhibited at the Salon des Refusés, the exhibition of artists whose art was rejected. Gérôme is known mainly as an academic painter. He was very well-trained and painted as he had been taught to paint. He was nevertheless very successful as an artist and art teacher. As noted above, he specialized in history painting. He also created art depicting Greek mythology. Third, he became a prominent orientalist.

I have inserted Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade Symphonic Suite (Op. 35, 2), composed in 1888. Scheherazade is based on the One Thousand and One Nights, Arabian fairy tales, and constitutes an excellent example of Orientalism in music.

Works by Gérôme are housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walters Museum of Art, Baltimore, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, and other museums. Many have been purchased privately, and reproductions are available. A reproduction is not as valuable as the original work of art. However, content is the most important element in visual works of art and Gérôme was an accomplished artist.

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade is one of the better known examples of Orientalism in music. It may be the best.

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Pelt Merchant of Cairo, 1869 (wikiart.org)

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The Whirling Dervishes by Gérôme, 1895 (wikiart.org)

© Micheline Walker
17 August 2016
WordPress

Original Article: https://michelinewalker.com/2016/08/17/more-orientalisme-by-gerome/

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I Would Like to Introduce You to Langston Hughes

The section of New York City called Harlem was the home of a very wonderful poet during the 1920s and 1930s. Langston Hughes was one of the most influential black poets of the twentieth century. The blog I wrote and titled “I, too, am America” is a quote from this very talented man. He was born in 1902 in Missouri, however he lived most of his life in Harlem.

Langston was a mentor and inspiration to many other leading black writers and writers. In his poetry, he sought to foster black pride, break stereotypes, and outrage people by telling people about the injustices of racism and inequality. He wrote about lynchings, poverty, and the inner rage of blacks confined and humiliated by segregation. Hughes considered himself the people’s poet. He wanted his writings to be read and not studied. His writing is direct, accessible and often dramatic.

For instance, his poem “Ku Klux,” is written in the first person voice of a black kidnapped by the Klan. The title of the poem is truncated, but all of Hughes readers knew what the third word word would be. The poem concludes inconclusively, but readers understood the grim fate awaiting the man accused of “sassin’ ” white folks.

Hughes first poem was published in the Crisis, the NAACP magazine founded by W.E.B. DuBois. Hughes graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

He often wrote dark and pessimistic poetry, but considering his world, I believe it is understandable. Hughes did interweave his poetry with brighter optimism and humor. During his lifetime, the Civil Right’s Movement made progress toward equality, dignity and some of his work reflected this progress. Recently, Langston Hughes has been honored as a gay black male icon.

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Portait of African American poet Langston Hughes with a statue, 1955. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

Portrait of African American poet Langston Hughes

Artists banding together to save Langston Hughes’ historic home in Harlem

Gentrification is a many-headed beast, and now that beast may be coming to devour the former home of Langston Hughes – one of the great pioneers of the Harlem Renaissance.

However, Renée Watson, a local writer who lives near the home, is trying to prevent that from happening. Watson has launched a fundraising campaign in hopes of raising $150,000 to rent the place and turn it into a cultural center.

As of today, the initiative has raised a little over $26,000.

For the past ten years, I’ve walked past the brownstone where Langston Hughes lived and wondered why it was empty,” said Watson on the campaign’s homepage. “How could it be that his home wasn’t preserved as a space for poets, a space to honor his legacy?

Photo: fullaccessnyc.com
Photo: fullaccessnyc.com

I’d pass the brownstone, shake my head, and say, ‘Someone should do something.’ I have stopped saying, ‘Someone should do something’ and decided that someone is me,” she added.

Watson also launched I, Too, Arts Collective (named in honor of Hughes’ poem I, Too, Sing America), a non-profit whose first major goal is to lease the apartment and “provide a space for emerging and established artists in Harlem to create, connect, and showcase work.”

Watson has lived in the city just over ten years, and she reached out to other writers once she learned of the possible fate of Langston Hughes’ home.

Old brownstones in the area are being torn down to make room for more modern buildings at an alarming rate. There is fear that the money won’t be raised in enough time, but “the current owner has agreed to hold off on selling to see how the project unfolds,” CNN Money reports.

Jason Reynolds, a young adult author, answered Watson’s call to action immediately. “I kept thinking, this is just like New York, nothing is sacred,he told CNN Money.

Original Article: https://idealisticrebel.com/2016/08/22/i-would-like-to-introduce-you-to-langston-hughes/

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I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

To keep online information secure, experts recommend keeping your social media accounts private, changing your passwords often, and never answering unsolicited emails or phone calls asking for your personal information. Need help and guidance visit https://acepchelp.wordpress.com and leave a comment or send a private message on Telegram @Aceone31

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