East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Artist Explorer

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Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903) was an American painter, the son of a well-to-do spice merchant. He studied art in Paris and in his life he traveled extensively in Asia and the Middle East, and produced a large number of paintings in what is known as the Orientalist style.
I originally found out about him when I was looking for paintings as documentation for my Hope & Glory game, and was impressed by the incredibly precise portraits and by the vibrant colors of his works.

In 1892, Edwin Lord Weeks planned a visit in Persia, and the subsequent voyage was fraught with incidents and unexpected changes of program. This is the subject of Artist Explorer: a ride through Persia to India in 1892, an extract of the diaries Weeks kept during that travel, and that he later published in a more extensive form as From the Black Sea through Persia and India (1895).
Artist Explorer is printed by the Long Riders Guild in their Equestrian Travel Classics line, and it’s a great read, filled with keen observations and fine details, as befits a painter.

I am currently reading it before bedtime, and it’s a highly recommended book.

And because Edwin Lord Weeks was not only an explorer, but also an artist, here is a small gallery of his works. Click on the preview to see the full-size image.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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