The Orientalist Aesthetic in Amadeo Preziosi’s Oeuvre (81175)

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Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation

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This paper discusses Amadeo Preziosi’s Orientalist representations within the socio-political and cultural contexts of nineteenth century Ottoman Empire. Adopting the theoretical lens of Orientalism, this paper will show how Preziosi’s oeuvre is interlaced with the lexicon of Eurocentric exoticisation of the Middle East, where the space and people are transformed into objects of aestheticism. The nineteenth century artist (Count) Amadeo Preziosi (1816-1882) is often known for the representation of the Ottoman city, Istanbul, where he based most of his career. However, to understand Preziosi’s broader context within the fabric of Orientalist discourse, the paradoxicality and hybridity of the artist’s own national context as a Maltese citizen has to be taken in consideration. Amadeo Preziosi was the first-born son of Gio Francesco Preziosi and Margareta nee Raynaud. The Preziosi family had Italiophile origin with strong ties with the Order of Saint John and later with the British colony. Despite his nobility and lineage to central Europe, Preziosi’s Maltese nationality made him a British subject. In this light, the aim of this research has been to place him within the theoretical framework of Orientalism. This is done by questioning the notions of authenticity in his representations and deeply analysing the narratives at play. For this reason, he will be mainly discussed within the representation of Istanbul, and Malta, and based on the several socio-cultural dynamics of the period.

Rachel Abdilla, University of Malta, Malta

About the Presenter(s)
Rachel Abdilla obtained her M.A in Art History from the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Malta. Her area of specialisation is in Orientalism, focusing on the 19th century Maltese artist, Amadeo Preziosi.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00