chapter  12
An Oriental tradition
Pages 40

THE ABOVE ARGUMENTS may well be tempered by the chauvanism of history, and so it seemed natural to divide Oriental dyeing history from that of Europe. This merely reflects the broader misunderstandings between Occident and Orient whose occasional close links were interrupted by a history of conflicts-not forgetting their respective regular internecine wars. The nation states of the West as the more recent imperial colonial powers have been more comfortable collecting Oriental Art than the Islamic world in amassing European Art. Sometimes it happened in a different way. For example the Ottomans absorbed French Rococo into their already diverse cultural vocabulary. As already mentioned, early Arab rulers did collect Western libraries and more recently Japan as an economic superstate has provided the exception in Asia, with its large purchases of Impressionist paintings.