Le Cairo 1801

2016

Prior to Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt, European artists had very few contacts with the Orient. When the Description de l’Égypte was published and circulated in Europe, it became the most influential scientific and artistic documentation of Egypt. This publication had a profound effect on European art in the nineteenth century and it managed to spread the style of visual art, fashion, architecture, and literature called Orientalism. I created the Orientalists series “Le Cairo 1801” to express my feelings towards Cairo; this beautiful city, which has been destroyed over the past 50 years. Most of the historic buildings dating back to the period of the Orientalists and the French colonization in 1798 have been ruined. Hence, I chose a period of time where life was peaceful and artistically rich compared to the decadence we are currently experiencing.  I wanted to recall this forgotten history of the city and the way of life of the Orientalists during a period of more than 120 years. Therefore, my reference to the Orientalist paintings is a canvas of inspiration and re-adaptation to the contemporary era.