Art: Lured by the Exotic East

In Washington, an opulent survey of the Orientalist movement

"The pictures used to seem exaggerations—they seemed too weird and fanciful for reality. But behold, they were not wild enough. They have not told half the story." So wrote Mark Twain in The Innocents Abroad, carried away as he was by the exotic sights of Morocco in 1867. Whether Twain was right or not, whether the reality of life in the Islamic world was more fanciful than its images in 19th century art, there could be no doubt that the popular pictures of the day exuded a...

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