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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Egypt 1

 The hypostyle hall, Temple of Hathor, Dendera
 The Colossi of Memnon, Luxor

Just come back from 2 weeks in Egypt- here are some sketches from the trip.

 I have always been interested in Orientalist art- drawings and paintings by 19th century European artists in the Middle East and North Africa.  There is some controversy about this style. At worst, it can be imperialistic, stereotypical and ethically questionable but at its height it produced some spectacular and beautiful art. It inspired me to travel (as did Herge's Tintin comics which have some similar issues)  
 This genre of painting includes some amazing landscape paintings with ruined temples covered in drifts of sand and tiny figures thrown in there to add some scale. David Roberts' pictures of Abu Simbel are maybe the most famous examples of these. It was inspiring to draw in some of the same locations.

 Egypt in summer can reach 50 degrees C, and any artist who bothered to visit before the invention of air conditioning has my respect whatever their motives.

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