- The iconography of the Thousand and one nights and modernity: from text to image
- Volume | Issue number
- 4 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Whereas in the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century the Thousand and one Nights contributed relatively little to the European iconography of Orientalism, at the end of the nineteenth century the number of illustrated translations, anthologies and reworkings increased, due to improved printing techniques and the gradual amalgamation of Orientalist and modernist trends in art. A new imagery was developed that not only incorporated visions of the Orient, but Oriental aesthetics as well, thus integrating Oriental styles into modernist art. This development is illustrated by the example of Edmund Dulac, one of the most prominent illustrators of the Nights. Moreover, the convergence of these trends resulted in a more autonomous function of the imagery of the Thousand and one Nights: it was no longer subservient to the narrative, but rather came to dominate the perception of the stories.
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