Battle ground: Environmental determinism and the politics of painting the Iraqi landscape | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Shifting Terrains: Art, Environment and Urbanism in Iraq
  • ISSN: 2515-8538
  • E-ISSN: 2515-8546

Abstract

Beginning in the late 1940s, Iraqi artists began writing critiques of the Euro-American art movement impressionism, claiming that the way the movement framed the environment was not suited to the Iraqi landscape. Embedded in this argument was the notion that Iraqis could not paint European-style landscapes because of the fact that their environment was different from that of Europe. At the same time, paintings of the Iraqi landscape by European artists in the early twentieth century reinforced the idea that the Iraqi landscape was other than the European one because of its bright sun and empty desert, concepts familiar from nineteenth-century Orientalist discourse. This article will trace the way European painters’ representations of Iraq as other ultimately contributed to Iraqi painters seeking out a distinctive form of European landscape painting in the 1940s.

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2021-03-01
2024-02-21
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