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Orientalism through Implicit Eroticism

Some of the most popular Orientalist paintings depict harems. Male Orientalist painters were not allowed to enter women’s boudoirs. They relied largely on hearsay and imagination to depict decorated interiors with luxuriant odalisques (female slaves or concubines). Similarly, Thomas Allom depicted Chinese boudoirs in great detail, stressing a lassitude spectacle and a rigid social hierarchy. Allom’s boudoir scenes also evoked a sense of pampered isolation of Chinese women who always attached their fate to men.

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