14 – Fantasies Reframed: Orientalism and its Contexts

On campus

Course 14 – Summer School on campus

Monday 1 – Friday 5 July 2024
Dr Emily Christensen and Dr Ambra D’Antone

Course description

Orientalist paintings are complex works with a contentious history: a popular genre in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe, they have been variously described as historically significant snapshots of life in ‘the Orient’ and as ideologically constructed fantasies created in the minds and studios of the European artists who painted them. Recent exhibitions, and the growing private and public collections of Orientalism throughout the Islamic world, demonstrate that these works continue to find new audiences.

This course is designed to explore Orientalism in its artistic, political and historical contexts and to provide participants with a framework through which to approach and interpret these works. We shall identify and scrutinise recurring motifs (horsemen, harems, odalisques, palm trees, alleyways, arches) and common themes (idleness, sensuality, violence) in the works of Orientalism’s most renowned artists, including Delacroix, Gérôme, Deutsch and Lewis, and in early photography and popular culture. We shall trace Orientalism’s shifting forms and renewed purpose in early modernism, in the works of Renoir, Matisse, Picasso and Kandinsky. Throughout the course we shall also discuss how artists and intellectuals from Turkey and the Levant region responded to Orientalism in painting, expanding notions of the cultural flows that existed between Europe and the lands it referred to as the Orient.

How to book

To book your chosen course(s) please use the book now button below and you will be taken to our booking system where you can book and pay (Visa / Mastercard / GooglePay / ApplePay).

At checkout, you will be prompted to login (if you have previously booked gallery tickets) or to register and create a new account.

(Please note: this ticketing login is not the same as your short courses VLE login if you have one).

Once you have made your selection, your chosen course(s) will be added to your shopping basket which has a timer of 20 minutes, after which time your basket will be cleared and you will need to start again. The timer starts from when you put an item in the basket (not when you login or register).

If you have any questions please email us at short.courses@courtauld.ac.uk


Lecturers' biographies

Dr Emily Christensen is an Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Emily teaches European 19th and 20th century art, and on issues of empire and representation in Orientalism. Recent projects include collaborating on an exhibition about the reception of Islamic art in 20th century Europe at the Kunsthaus Zurich and co-curating an exhibition in The Courtauld Gallery Project Space entitled Drawing on Arabian Nights. She has published in The Burlington Magazine and World Art, among others.

Dr Ambra D’Antone is a historian of modern art and art historiography, with a focus on Turkey and the Levant region. Ambra works as Curatorial Assistant at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Current projects include working on a book of Turkish art historiography between 1920-1960. She has co-curated an exhibition in The Courtauld Gallery Project Space entitled Drawing on Arabian Nights (February-June 2023). Her work has been published in Art History and The Journal of Art Historiography.