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Travelling east via Burlington House

Orientalist painting at the Royal Academy

April 23, 2019
Tuesday at 6.30pm
Free to attend. Please register on Eventbrite

The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building, University of York York YO10 5DD


Speaker: Madeline Boden, Department of History of Art, York Islamic Art Circle

The nineteenth century saw a marked increase in the number of British artists travelling to the East. They went in search of a variety of artistic experiences, some motivated by religion, others by adventure, or the chance to discover something ‘new’ to present to the viewing audience at home. The results of these sojourns were shown annually on the walls of the Royal Academy.

This lecture will explore the artists who travelled primarily across the lands of the Ottoman Empire, and the network of British Orientalist painters, that emerged through their shared exhibition venue – the Royal Academy summer show. Although not as cohesive as other artistic movements such as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, this network functioned as an important, public facing facet of Britain’s relationship with the Middle East. By looking closely at these paintings we can better understand how artists sought to make global connections through their art.

The talk will be followed by a drinks reception. All attendees welcome.

Madeline Boden is a third-year PhD candidate in the History of Art department, at the University of York. Her thesis focuses on the Victorian artist and President of the Royal Academy, Frederic Leighton and his travels to the Middle East between 1858-1895. Her research reflects on the influence of travel on the artist’s work as well as the new avenues of artistic engagement, Leighton and his contemporaries pursued while in the East. She is the Godfrey Goodwin Prize winner of the 2018 Ancient & Modern Research Award


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