This volume derives from the symposium Ottoman Istanbul and British Orientalism, itself based on the exhibition The Lure of the East, first staged at the Yale Centre for British Art, Tate Britain in 2008, which then moved to the Pera Museum, Istanbul, 2009, and concluded at the Sharjah Art Museum in the United Arab Emirates. Publications of the this variety often come with a health warning, since the strength of specialist symposia can also be their weakness: a cultivation of like-minded thinkers, they can frequently become a breeding ground for cavil and academic apparatus. This handsome volume, however, is an exceptionally welcome exception. Richly illustrated and authoritative in format, it combines coffee-table attractiveness with scholarly finesse. The basis in the exhibitions, and particularly the version in Istanbul, provided for two object lessons: the first was, in observations, based on the physical works themselves; the second was the differing...

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