The French painter Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant (1845–1902), an alumnus of the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Toulouse, was famous for his romantic paintings of oriental subjects and events.
He is precise in his rendering of Middle Eastern/North African patterns and his depictions of both royal and civilian lives – of palaces, harems, marketplaces, homes – are vivid and detailed.
In the 19th-century, art of this sort was highly in demand among European audiences eager to get a glimpse of exotic conquered populations. Although still admired for their technical virtues, such Western portrayals of the East are now, by many, deemed somewhat patronising in effect and aim.
Read more about Benjamin-Constant on The Globe and Mail.
Check out some of his works: