While there was traditional Asian art that depicted historical events, it was usually done with less focus and were more stylized than the artwork created for meditation purposes. These paintings differed significantly from Western art, as well. Rather than a painting being representative of a particular person or event, these pictures were categorized by their generalities. One warrior looks much the same as another in Asian art, with the title and the viewer's own knowledge of the subject providing the insight needed to understand the work.
Contemporary artists that work in the category of Asian art have developed this sense of complexity while making the subject more palatable for worldwide audiences. Depictions of Buddha, yoga poses, flowers, and abstract patterns have all been treated with a contemplative brush by these modern artists. While these works display more Western influence than their traditional counterparts, the purpose of this art in assisting with meditation and reflection is the same. People that place these works in their home often find them soothing and peaceful while still being familiar enough to combine with nearly any other decorative style. Bedrooms and bathrooms, especially, benefit from this art forms' sense of tranquility.
About Orientalists Art
Orientalist art was developed by French artists in the 19th century after Napoleon failed in his attempts to invade Egypt and Syria. This art category had many admirers and critics because of the stereotypical depictions of Middle Eastern culture. However, this form of art was also responsible for encouraging the merge of Eastern and Western artistic techniques and expression.
One of the most interesting facets of Orientalist art was that many of the artists had never been to the Middle East, or even left their own country, despite this art form's popularity which lasted for over a century. These painters were largely inspired by Edward Said's literary works, which called for 'Western reform' of Eastern cultures that had been more hesitant in accepting the Industrial Revolution than their Western neighbors.
The artists who were inspired by Said's work generally focused on the sensuality and sexualization of Eastern cultures and customs. These works were considered exotic and typically focused on nude women and harem scenes which were stereotypical in nature and encouraged the idea of Eastern culture as being barbaric, unsophisticated, and morally questionable. However, there's no denying that these artworks are frequently beautiful and well-rendered despite the artists' prejudice. Also, thanks to the work of artists like Ingres and Gerome, who included these themes in their work, new techniques of composition and imagery were developed, as well as a curiosity for cultures unlike their own.
There were artists in this category who were honestly entranced by the traditional culture and customs of the Middle East. One of these famous artists was Eugene Delacroix, whose journey through Algeria and Morocco inspired his work. Using soft colors, he drew his subjects from life. Although he did paint women, the majority of his works featured men and the unique architecture of the areas he visited.
Despite its conflicted history, Orientalist works were important for developing art as we know it today. Some of these beautiful and sensitive works are a popular decoration for homes, both for their classic aesthetics and historical impact.