Various artworks came up as a result of colonization, particularly right about the time when Europe took interest in colonization. One particular artwork that peaked my interest is that of ‘The Women of Algiers in their Apartment’ by a French artist called Eugene Delacroix. Laurel Ma wrote an article about this painting. Eugene Delacroix was a popular French artist whose artwork was hailed all over Europe. Therefore it didn’t come as a surprise when the state of France decided to tag him along on a diplomatic mission to North Africa just two years since Algiers was invaded. This was around the time Delacroix drew the painting of The Women of Algiers in their Apartment in 1834. The timing that the painting came out, which is also the time the French went to Algiers, is suspicious and rightfully so. It tends to shed some light on the imperialist intentions that the French had towards Algiers. Most paintings by the Orientalists were prejudiced against the Orients in such a way as to incite the Westerners to colonize them in the name of doing them a favor. Most of it revolved around sex in particular. The Orientalists would draw paintings with naked women in them as if waiting for the European men to come and save them from the supposed tyranny of their husbands. Of course, a great deal of this work was more of imagination than reality. All the more reason why Delacroix’s work received major applause as it was seen to be more authentic and the fact that it contains aspects that make it seem both imaginative and real caught a lot of people’s attention. The Women of Algiers in their Apartment clearly shows the lifestyle of the people of North Africa. The women often stayed in their harem, which is a sacred place restricted only to the women and their husband. No other person other than the servants was allowed in the harem. Delacroix draws a harem with three women in it along with one black servant woman holding the curtain. Contrary to popular belief as depicted by the works of other Orientalists, the women in this painting do not in any way suggest any sexual intentions. This came as a confusion to many as people were used to paintings with naked women obviously arousing and inviting the sexual desires off those who saw it. In other words, the regular paintings were demeaning to the cultures and values of the people in the East. In Delacroix’s painting the women are fully clothed, almost in a way to suggest that they are overdressed. This could be seen as the painter’s way of proving a point, trying to atone for the mistakes off his fellow artists by clearly stating that the women in the Orients were respectable and were not to e objectified sexually. The painting doesn’t show women yearning or the presence of a man, rather they are comfortable and content with the current situation where they have time to themselves. The room in the painting is lavished with oriental objects such as glass vases and various patterns on the furniture that relate to the style associated with Orients. There is a servant drawing a curtain. This is to depict the dramatic way in which the harem is unveiled for the authorized Muslim male but now in the painting, the colonizer gets a glance of what he shouldn’t see. The women in the painting are covered in blankets to confirm the stereotype that suggests
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