Monday, November 14

Otherwise Known as Lunch


While poking around Carol Gerten-Jackon’s Virtual Art Museum this afternoon, I came across The Mid-Day Meal, Cairo painted by John Frederick Lewis (1805-1876) one year before his death, most likely from an earlier sketch made during the ten years he spent living in Cairo. I had not heard of him until today during my own mid-day meal, Boston. I immediately fell in love with this painting.

I find this particular work very moving. It is, of course, a quintessentially Orientalist work of art; it depicts 19th-century Cairo as seen by Western eyes, in all its romantic and exotic glory. I would prefer, however, not to overly politicize such a marvelous work as this one. While I recognize the importance of understanding this work in its proper historical context, I cannot help but admire its delicate beauty and the sensuousness of the feast it portrays. I think it is clear that Lewis appreciated and was himself moved by Cairo’s beauty, and he quite successfully draws the viewer into the work itself, to take one's seat on the cushion in the foreground.

2 Comments:

Blogger kate m said...

I must confess that I can't totally reject Orientalism, and I don't feel I embrace the negative aspects the Edward Said defines.

4:43 PM  
Blogger kate m said...

They sure are eating a lot of fruit for lunch!

4:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

AMAN YALA CLAIMS NO CREDIT FOR ANY IMAGES FEATURED ON THIS SITE, UNLESS EXPRESSLY STATED. ALL VISUAL CONTENT IS COPYRIGHT TO ITS RESPECTFUL OWNERS. IF YOU OWN RIGHTS TO ANY OF THE IMAGES AND DO NOT WISH THEM TO APPEAR ON THIS SITE, PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA E-MAIL, AND THEY WILL BE PROMPTLY REMOVED.