Visual History of the World

(CONTENTS)
 

 


HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION & CULTURE

From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Photography
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
Prehistory
First Empires
The Ancient World
The Middle Ages
The Early Modern Period
The Modern Era
The World Wars and Interwar Period
The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists

 




The Early Modern Period

16th - 18th century


 


The smooth transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age is conventionally fixed on such events as the Reformation and the discovery of the "New World," which brought about the emergence of a new image of man and his world. Humanism, which spread out of Italy, also made an essential contribution to this with its promotion of a critical awareness of Christianity and the Church. The Reformation eventually broke the all-embracing power of the Church. After the Thirty Years' War, the concept of a universal empire was also nullified. The era of the nation-state began, bringing with it the desire to build up political and economic power far beyond Europe. The Americas, Africa, and Asia provided regions of expansion for the Europeans.
 



Proportions of the Human Figure by Leonardo da Vinci (drawing, ca. 1490)
is a prime example of the new approach of Renaissance
artists and scientists to the anatomy of the human body.

 

 


THE HAREM
 

 

 

Harem

Arabic ḥarīm
Main
in Muslim countries, the part of a house set apart for the women of the family. The word ḥarīmī is used collectively to refer to the women themselves. Zanāna (from the Persian word zan, “woman”) is the term used for the harem in India, andarūn (Persian: “inner part” [of a house]) in Iran.

Although usually associated in Western thought with Muslim practices, harems are known to have existed in the pre-Islamic civilizations of the Middle East; there the harem served as the secure, private quarters of women who nonetheless played various roles in public life. Muhammad did not originate the idea of the harem or of the seclusion and veiling of women, but he sponsored them, and, wherever Islam spread, these institutions went with it. The virtual removal of women from public life was more typical of the Islamic harem than of its predecessors, although in many periods of Islamic history women in the harem exercised various degrees of political power.

In pre-Islamic Assyria, Persia, and Egypt, most of the royal courts included a harem, consisting of the ruler’s wives and concubines, their female attendants, and eunuchs. These royal harems performed important political, as well as social, roles. Rulers often added wives to their harems as a means of cementing political alliances. As wives attempted to maneuver themselves and their sons into positions of power, the harem became an arena in which rival factions fought for ascendancy at the court. Since these women were usually from influential and powerful families, harem intrigues frequently had wide-ranging repercussions, including, in some cases, the downfall of dynasties.

Large harems were common in the wealthy households in Arab countries through the early decades of the 20th century. In the wealthier houses, each wife had her own set of rooms and servants; women in less affluent households had smaller quarters and less privacy, but even the poorest Arab household provided separate living quarters for men and women. By the second half of the 20th century, the full harem system existed only among the more conservative elements of Arab society.

In imperial Turkey the sultan had an elaborately organized harem, or seraglio (from Italian serraglio, “enclosure”), with disciplinary and administrative officers, overseen by the sultan’s mother, the vâlide sultan. After 1926, when the Turkish republic made polygamy illegal, the seclusion of women became less popular.

 

An odalisque

(Turkish: Odalık) was a female slave in an Ottoman seraglio. She was an assistant or apprentice to the concubines and wives, and she might rise in status to become one of them. Most odalisques were part of the Imperial Harem, that is, the household, of the sultan.

An odalisque was not a concubine of the harem, but it was possible that she could become one. Odalisques were ranked at the bottom of the social stratification of a harem, serving not the sultan, but rather, his concubines and wives as personal chambermaids. Odalisques were usually slaves given as gifts to the sultan. Generally, an odalisque was never seen by the sultan, but instead remained under the direct supervision of the Valide sultan. If an odalisque was of extraordinary beauty or had exceptional talents in dancing or singing, she would be trained as a possible concubine. If selected, an odalisque trained as a concubine would serve the sultan sexually, and only after such sexual contact would she change in status, becoming thenceforth a concubine. In the Ottoman Empire, concubines encountered the sultan only once—unless she was especially skilled in dance, singing, or the sexual arts, and thus gained his attention. If a concubine's contact with the sultan resulted in the birth of a son, she would become one of his wives.

 

see also:

Orientalism


see also collection: David Roberts "A Journey in the Holy Land"


 

 


Jean-Leon Gerome


 


The Teaser of the Narghile


 


A Bath, Woman Bathing Her Feet


 


A Moorish Bath - Turkish Woman Bathing



 


Harem in the Kiosk


 


Excursion of the Harem


 


Slave Market


 


Harem Pool


 


Nude Woman


 


Turkish Bath



 


Harem Women Feeding Pigeons in a Courtyard





 


Theodore Chasseriau


 


Orientalist Interior



 


Young Woman Coming out of the Bath



 


Haremsszene, Maurisch Dame im Bad





 



Mariano Fortuny y Carbo


 


Odalisque


 


Odalisque

 

 

Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

 
| privacy