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Art and Identity in Spain, 1833-1956 : The Orient Within - Claudia Hopkins

Art and Identity in Spain, 1833-1956

The Orient Within

By: Claudia Hopkins

Hardcover | 5 September 2024

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Richly illustrated, this is the first study in English to explore the longevity of Orientalist art in Spain over a period of 120 years.

It highlights how artists in Spain shaped perceptions of Al-Andalus (Iberia under Islam 711-1492) and northern Morocco, from Spain's liberal revolution of the 1830s to the end of the Protectorate of Morocco in 1956. Combining art history with a cultural studies approach, and using exemplary case studies, Hopkins foregrounds the diverse issues that underpin Orientalist expression: reflections on history and the nation, cultural nationalism, gender and sexuality, aesthetics and art commerce, colonialism and racial thinking. In the process, the book challenges over-familiar understandings of Western Orientalism.

Beyond Fortuny and Sorolla, many unfamiliar artists and exhibitions are introduced, amongst them Villaamil, whose nostalgic landscapes evoked the loss of Andalusi culture; Becquer, who celebrated Spanish-Moroccan peace-making through the lens of Velazquez; the Symbolist Rusinol, whose images of the Alhambra are infused with melancholy; Morcillo, whose extraordinary camp images opened a new space for male subjectivity; Tapiro and Bertuchi, who dedicated their lives to Morocco, and the Moroccan Sarghini, who participated in the state-funded Painters of Africa exhibitions in Franco's Madrid - an annual exhibition that served the colonial concept of a Hispano-Moroccan brotherhood under the dictatorship.

This book traces the shifting impulses and meanings of Orientalist expression in Spain. It makes an original intervention in the field of Spanish art studies and contributes new material to the ongoing debates about Western Orientalism.

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