Modern art, mosques, and the Maghreb French Orientalist painting of mosques and prayer in Muslim North Africa during colonialism
Jablonski, Anna Ridge
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This paper analyses the use of mosques and the Muslim faithful as pictorial subjects for modern French Orientalist painters during the period of French colonialism in North Africa. France's "civilizing mission" of its North African colonies during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries sought to tame a foreign land of what the French perceived to be savagery, exoticism, and madness. These perceptions were disseminated by explorers, physicians, writers, and artists. French Orientalist painters working in the colonial condition typically adhered to these stereotypes; however, illustrations of mosques and prayer show an atypical sensitivity and respect for Muslim North Africa, and are a point of difference in the oeuvres of French Orientalist painters.