Orientalism in Art // Freewrite on “Le charmeur de serpents” by Jean-Léon Gérôme

The blue tiled mosaics on the wall resemble the notion of Orientalism’s view on the architecture of the East. The Arabic characters further “explain” the location of this painting to its European audience. The cluster of older men in colorful rags illustrates Orientalism’s idea of both the color scheme and the wardrobes of the people in the East. The snake charmer is a prime example of Orientalist thought; the snake charmer and his stereotypical flute further orientalizes the painting. The “beardless youth’s” nudity also depicts Orientalist stereotypes of promiscuity, openness, and unabashed sexualization. The tiled floor pattern with crescent moons, circles, and differently shaped pieces shows the Orientalist basis of the painting – their love for astrology and Islam is made clear.

P.S. This is a freewrite, and I’m sorry it’s so bad.

by Jean-Léon Gérôme

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