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By Jocelyn Hackforth-Jones, Mary Roberts

Edges of Empire makes a speciality of the intersection among modernization, modernism, and Orientalism. it's a well timed reassessment of the heritage and legacy of Orientalist paintings and visible tradition. The essays during this quantity discover the connections and cross-fertilizations that happen throughout cultural limitations through the research of Ottoman and North African paintings practices, in addition to the visible tradition of eu Orientalism. Contested identities and new definitions of self are highlighted in terms of themes as assorted as nineteenth-century monuments to empire, cultural cross-dressing, functionality and demonstrate on the foreign exhibitions, and modern museological perform. it is a groundbreaking anthology that might be of serious curiosity to students and scholars of paintings historical past, structure, museum reviews, and cultural and postcolonial stories.

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An article in L’Illustration put it clearly: ‘‘This monument . . 12 With its soaring height and prominent positioning on the waterfront, it would dominate the image of Algiers. Its various pieces were cluttered with legible symbols that revealed a great deal about the current political climate. The base brought together cylindrical towers in a generic French medieval military mode with North African Islamic lobed arches, conveying an ambiguous message. ’’ On the other hand, the juxtaposition between the heavy and imposing French military forms and the delicate and ephemeral lobed arches seemed a reminder of a relationship based on force and hierarchy, underlined by the emperor.

7 The entire complex, symmetrical and axial toward the Mediterranean, would meet on the waterfront side the arcades of the newly opened Boulevard de l’Impe´ratrice (named in honor of Empress Euge´nie, who had accompanied Napoleon III to Algiers), and terminate in the bastion that descended to the harbor level by sculptural stairs – again, the work of Chasse´riau. Viollet-le-Duc had wide-ranging interests and his career as an architect and a theorist displayed an open-minded flexibility. Nevertheless, he is best known in the discourse of modernism as a ‘‘structural rationalist,’’ who based his theories on his studies of the medieval architecture of France.

3 He made his message clear to Algerians when he addressed them: ‘‘I want to increase your well-being, to make you participate more and more in the administration of your country as well as the blessings of civilization; but, these depend on conditions, from your side, you will respect those who represent my authority. Say to your lost [e´gare´] brothers that to attempt new insurrections will be fatal for them . . Two million Arabs cannot resist forty million Frenchmen . . ’’4 In a meticulous choreography, the emperor was welcomed by ceremonies that included Muslims throughout Algeria.

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