The Jewish Wedding
1875. Renoir, Auguste..

  Early in the nineteenth century, French artists started to look outside the European tradition for points of reference. In the 1830's and 1840's, they began to venture into the heart of eastern countries to search for uncorrupted life and picturesque scenes. By the middle of the century, tourism was well established and Turkey was the starting point for many visitors; the 1854 edition of Murray's Guide to Turkey gives details of bewildering variety of routes available for travelers.
  The Oriental sense of dimension is dislayed in the sequence of Odalisque and Slave. Orientalist context is illustrated by the magical color and textures of Islamic interiors. This is derived from eighteenth century Western manuscripts, and the descriptions that had been shaped by imagination rather than by fact.
Odalisque and Slave
1842. Ingres, Jean-Auguste-Dominique.

Women of Algiers in their Quarters
1834. Delacroix, Eugene.


The awareness of the properties of light and its translation into paint were already seen in France as the most prominent contribution of Orientalist painting to French art. Delacroix found in the light and color of North Africa the justification of his system of complementary colors by which he intensified the tonal range of his palette and introduced pure color into shadow, as in the remarkable painting of Women of Algiers.