London has long been regarded as a vital hub of the orientalist art world and the September opening of a new exhibition by one of Europe's most highly regarded contemporary orientalist painters, served to reinforce the city's reputation.
On the Road to Damascus, the long awaited solo exhibition of the paintings of June Bartlett, was opened at the Knightsbridge Mathaf Gallery by Syria's ambassador to the UK, HE Sami Khiyami. Bartlett's work is included in the personal collection of Middle Eastern collectors, including Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman.
June Bartlett has been painting scenes of the Middle East since her first visit to the region in 1979. However, it was not until November 2007 that she "discovered" Syria, initially visiting Damascus and Palmyra. Delighted by the country's charm, she returned in 2009, this time taking train journeys from Damascus to Aleppo, allowing her an unhurried 'behind the scenes' experience of every day life in town and countryside.
Fans of the artist's work will not be disappointed by the resultant collection, which is quite simply...